There are a few different ways to determine who is at fault after you’re in a car accident. Right after the accident, you might not be thinking about whose fault it was right away, especially if you were injured severely. It’s possible that you might not even remember much about the accident. That’s when it’s helpful to know how you can find out.
The Police Report
For most car accidents – even minor accidents – the police will be called. A police report will detail everything that happened. If the other driver made a mistake, it should be in the report, and this report is a valuable part of your car accident claim. The insurance adjuster will take everything that is in this report into consideration when coming up with a settlement amount.
Witnesses are also important when you’re filing a legal claim for a car accident. Quite often, police officers scan the area for witnesses who might have seen what happened, and they take statements from them. If you’re working with an attorney, he or she will probably want to contact any witnesses for additional interviews just to be sure all of the important information was collected. Witness testimonies are vital for determining fault in many cases.
State Traffic Laws
Traffic laws vary somewhat from state to state. Perhaps you think there was a mistake made on the police report when it was filed, or you think a traffic law was violated that wasn’t mentioned in the report. It’s not common, but sometimes you have to look up information on your own, or your attorney will research traffic laws for you. Rules of the Road books are commonly found at your local DMV, and the traffic codes you find inside can help support your case that the other driver was at fault.
Car accidents are often life-changing, tragic situations. They can result in so many losses for you as well as for your family. In an instant, your life can be altered, which is why it’s important to talk with an attorney about how you should proceed. Determining who is at fault when it’s not immediately obvious is something you can’t do on your own. Too often, people attempt to fight for themselves in car accident claims, and they are usually unsuccessful.
Insurance adjusters are very interested in protecting the assets of their companies. They are not concerned with compensating you fairly. In many cases, they may attempt to offer you a lower amount of money in hopes that you will accept their first offer. They may even try to twist the facts to cause you to accept fault for the accident. An attorney who understands the law and who has experience with car accident cases is your best line of defense against these types of insurance companies and adjusters.
Make sure you contact an attorney right away if you’ve been in a car accident. Your attorney will fight hard to present the facts and get you the compensation you deserve.