How do you prove liability when another driver unexpectedly pulls out in front of you and causes a tragic accident? Here’s how liability is generally determined if someone pulls out in front of you.
One of the critical things you generally must do after a car accident is to determine how your accident happened and who was responsible for it. It’s essential to ensure that your side of the story can be backed up with credible evidence. But how do you prove liability when another driver unexpectedly pulls out in front of you and causes a tragic accident? Here’s how liability is generally determined if someone pulls out in front of you.
When Can a Driver Who Pulls Out in Front of You Be at Fault?
Here are a few scenarios in which the other driver may be held liable:
- They pulled out in front of you without using their turn signal
- They pulled out in front of you and suddenly slammed on their brakes
- It was a staged car accident where they intentionally pulled out in front of you
- They were drunk or tired
- They pulled out in front of you at a high or low speed
- They pulled out in front of you due to road rage
How Can an Attorney Prove the Driver Who Pulled Out in Front of You Was at Fault?
Your attorney can evaluate all the accident details and gather solid evidence to support your claim. Here are a few crucial ways your attorney can prove that the driver who pulled out in front of you was at fault:
- Witness Statement
The other driver will likely blame you for the accident. It will generally be your word against the other drivers. However, witnesses at the accident scene can provide an objective perspective about what happened. Armed with a witness statement, your attorney can prove negligence, validate your injuries, and show your innocence.
Your attorney can use recordings from your dash camera to prove the other driver cut you off. In addition, recordings from the cameras in the surrounding buildings could align with your version of the accident and prove you had the right of way.
- Photos of the Accident
It is highly recommended that you take multiple photos after your accident. Be sure to capture your injuries, vehicle damage, road marks, and surrounding areas, including nearby signage. Your attorneys will use this photographic evidence to prove the driver violated the traffic laws and caused the accident.
- Police Report
The police report will likely have valuable information that can help prove the other driver was reckless. For example, if the police issued a DUI citation against the other driver, your attorney could use it to confirm that the other driver was intoxicated and caused the accident.
What Is Contributory Fault?
“Contributory fault” means that both drivers were partially negligent and at fault for an accident. In cases with contributory negligence, each driver is assigned a percentage of “fault.” That percentage calculates how much they are responsible for paying for any resulting damages and injuries from the car accident.
Is Swerving Considered a Cause for Comparative Negligence?
If you swerve out of the way to avoid an object or another car, but that car wasn’t involved in the accident (in other words, it only caused you to hit someone but wasn’t hit itself), then you will likely be considered at fault if you hit someone else’s car. Depending on the circumstances, if the other vehicle had no part in the negligence of the accident, the responsibility may rest solely on you.
Car Accidents at Stop Sign Intersections
Stop signs are in place to help control the traffic at an intersection but also to help keep the speed of moving vehicles down in areas with a high pedestrian population, such as the inside of a neighborhood or subdivision. Both two-way and four-way stop sign intersections exist, depending on traffic flow from all directions.
There are several scenarios where another driver could pull out in front of you at an intersection, causing an accident. Some of these include:
- Not recognizing a 2-way stop sign intersection
- Failing to yield due to recklessness or negligence
- Impatient driver, in a hurry, and doesn’t take the time to stop
- Distracted driver due to texting or talking on the phone
- A drunk driver, visually impaired and runs through the intersection
According to traffic laws, stopping at all stop signs is compulsory. The drivers have to comply with the rules to keep the roads safe. So if an accident occurs because of a driver who does
Should You Ever Admit Fault After a St. Louis Car Accident?
If you’re involved in a car accident and are planning to file a claim with the insurance company, you should not admit fault.
Missouri is a comparative fault state, meaning multiple parties can be held liable for the same incident. The parties will receive a percentage of fault based on how much they contributed to the accident or made its repercussions worse. And this percentage can affect how much compensation you can get.
How Does Comparative Fault Work?
Consider the following scenario: a driver runs a red light and bumps into you. While the accident isn’t that severe, you have some property damage and medical bills. However, you were also not paying attention to your surroundings at the time, as you were trying to use the GPS and change an address.
In Missouri, both of you are responsible for the collision. The first driver ran the red light and caused the incident per se. However, because you were not wholly attentive to the road, you also carry some degree of fault regarding the severity of the repercussions. The argument is that, had you paid full attention, you might have been able to act on the stop and maybe prevent the collision or at least reduce the impact.
The driver who ran the right light receives 80% guilt, while you are given 20%. This means that should you file a claim with the insurance company to get compensated, you will only receive 80% of the damages you’d be entitled to once your percentage of fault is subtracted.
So Why Shouldn’t You Admit Fault?
The concept of fault is an essential legal area that can be difficult to prove or disprove, which is why many car accident victims rely on the experience of a St. Louis car accident lawyer to help them make that case.
However, when you admit fault, even partially, the entire case can crumble, as no matter what evidence you bring to the table, your confession will be used against you. Your car accident settlement will be much lower than it would generally be.
What Should You Do?
It’s never a good idea to admit fault after a car accident. You can only know some contributing factors to the incident right after it happened. Insurance companies will contact you at some point and ask about the incident. You are not obliged to discuss the accident or claim with them over the phone. Instead, ask them to contact your St. Louis car accident lawyer.
If you have been involved in an accident with a negligent driver who pulled out in front of you, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. today.
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!