Whenever an accident can lead to personal injury claims, it is vital to figure out fault. This is usually all about proving negligence or carelessness. Usually, common sense is all you need in order to figure out who was at fault. In others though, fault is heavily contested, which is when you absolutely need the help of car accident attorneys.
Keep in mind one important thing. Insurance companies will try to influence the investigation and will do all they can in order to pay less. This is why you might need some support and evidence. As a result, you have to remember the following facts.
Police Reports Are Vital
After the car accident, there will be a police officer that will come and investigate, especially if someone got injured. When this happens, a written report is done. Make sure to get a copy of that police report.
Most police reports clearly state who the party at fault was. This is especially when a traffic law was violated and it was that violation that was identified as the cause of the accident. In other situations though, the only thing listed is negligent driving, which is not assigning fault. Even so, without the report being specific, it will still be very useful.
State Traffic Laws Are Complicated
State laws can help you to determine fault because the vehicle code does include so many things that have to be respected. The department of motor vehicles will provide you the information you need. There is also a simplified version available that you can quickly browse through if you need to.
The vehicle code includes an index that allows you to find listings that cover the car accident, like “roadway markings” or “speed limits”. You can also go to a law library. When you locate the rule that does apply to the accident, make sure to copy the statute number and exact wording so these can be referenced with the adjuster. A car accident lawyer would do all this for you.
In some vehicle accidents, the at-fault driver is easy to figure out. Insurance companies do not even consider arguing because of the fact that liability cannot really be doubted. Such cases include:
- Rear-End Collisions – It is very rare that you are at fault for the accident if someone hit you from behind. Why you stopped does not really matter since it is the driver in front of you that should maintain a safe driving distance. Also, vehicle damage easily showcases exactly what happened.
- Left Turn Accidents – The car that makes the left turn is often liable when there is a car that comes from the other direction. There are some exceptions but they are very hard to prove and include situations like having a car go through red lights.
The bottom line is that fault can sometimes easily be proved but in some cases, this is not the reality. When there is any doubt regarding fault, you do need to keep your options open and you have to hire a car accident lawyer. Without the help of someone that fully understands the law, it is tough to counter what the insurance companies will tell you.