Determining fault in a car accident can be challenging. Factors that help include demonstrative evidence, police reports, witness statements, and traffic laws.
Every year millions of car accidents occur across the country, with many resulting in injuries. The at-fault driver is legally required to compensate for damage and injuries sustained by the other party.
However, determining fault or liability is one of the hardest and most crucial aspects of a post-accident investigation. Unsurprisingly, this is usually a bone of contention, given the unreliability of witness recollections, lack of evidence, and conflicting statements. So what factors determine fault in an auto accident?
Demonstrative evidence, as the name implies, demonstrates how the accident occurred. This includes tangible evidence like photographs, video footage, simulation models, and the like. Demonstrative evidence determines fault because it:
- Provides insight into events before, during, and after the accident
- Shows the extent of vehicle damage
- Shows the severity of injuries sustained
- Provides context about the accident
Photographs or videos of the damaged vehicle, skid marks on the roads, and other details are crucial for determining fault. Simulation models can also show how the accident occurred, thus providing sufficient details to conclusively establish fault after a car accident.
A police report is an official written assessment of the accident by law enforcement after arriving at the scene. The responding officer gathers information from involved parties and witnesses before compiling this report. They also examine tangible evidence like photographs and videos to give their expert opinion on who was at fault.
Police officers are neutral third parties in car accidents, lending credibility to police reports. However, their opinion isn’t final, and you can still argue your case if you feel the report is biased against you.
A witness is any third party who saw the accident or arrived at the scene moments after the event. Police officers gather statements from witnesses to determine what happened and who was at fault. They also collect witnesses’ contact information for further inquiries.
Expert witnesses, on the other hand, are licensed professionals who weigh in on the accident and give their expert opinions. Their statements are also crucial for establishing fault in an auto accident.
State Traffic Laws
Traffic laws in the US are state-specific, so an at-fault driver in one state may be completely blameless in another. Most states have a driver’s handbook and manual that contain all traffic laws and details on what defines fault in a car accident. The handbook is also a reference point you can cite when arguing your case in court or with the insurance company.
Speaking With a St. Louis Auto Accident Lawyer
While the law outlines how fault is determined in a car accident, insurance companies may use clever tactics to exploit loopholes in your statement and deny your claim. This is where the importance of having a skilled and experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney comes into play. Using their experience, they can help you navigate the legal process and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.
At the Hoffmann Law Firm, our team of legal professionals can provide you with the professional and expedient legal assistance that you need for your personal injury case. We understand the complexities of the law and can work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected.
Don’t let crafty insurance company lawyers take advantage of you. Seek the help of a skilled and experienced attorney to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact The Hoffman Law Firm today for professional legal assistance with your personal injury case.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!