The Guilty Party Should Accept the Monetary Obligations: 10 Steps to Determining Who’s at Fault in a Car Accident
When you are in a car accident, no matter how minor, it’s a stressful situation for everyone involved. When the at-fault party refuses to accept responsibility, the tension escalates even higher. Luckily, there are procedures in place to determine the liability of all accidents.
Here are 10 steps that the authorities and all parties involved can take to place blame on the correct guilty party in an accident.
10 Steps to Determine Who is At-Fault in an Accident
1. Pay attention to any traffic violations.
If a party was cited in the accident, this can help prove their fault in a court case.
2. Gather evidence.
Take pictures of the scene of the accident. This should include the damage to your car and the other car, a panoramic or 3D view of the road and scenery surrounding the area, and any other evidence that you can legally gather. Keep this in a safe place to give to your attorney if you decide to take legal action.
3. Read the police report of how the accident occurred.
Your statement may not match up with the other party’s, but after the responding law enforcement officer finishes their review of the accident, they will make an official decision. This will be in the police accident report.
4. Talk to the other party calmly.
If you can have a conversation with the person who hit you without getting upset, they might admit to their responsibility in the accident. If this is recorded, you can possibly use it as evidence later.
5. Gather witnesses.
Part of evidence gathering is talking to potential witnesses. Get their names, addresses, and phone numbers and a quick take of what they saw. Save this information as you may need it later if their testimony can help your case.
6. Look for signs of negligence.
When you first get out of your car, emotions can be running high. But if you look for signs that the other party was driving distracted, under the influence of anything, or in any other way negligent, you can use this information to prove fault.
7. Know the rules of the road.
Even if the other party was not cited immediately for a traffic violation, if you know the rules of the road you were traveling on and you know they were not following those rules, you can talk to your attorney to see how to provide evidence to prove their fault.
8. Don’t leave the scene until you have spoken to a law enforcement officer.
Accident scenes are often hectic, but you need to make sure you give your statement to the responding officer. If you don’t, they may just take the other party’s word for what happened, and not everyone will be honest about their negligence!
9. Exchange insurance information.
If all else fails, let the insurance companies duke out the necessary at-fault finger pointing! Be sure you call and report your part in the accident, but do not take the blame or allow them to back you into a corner. Be straight and to the point, then hang up before they can use anything you say against you.
10. Call an accident attorney to back you up.
When the at-fault responsibility is in question or the other party is denying their obligation, talk to an attorney for help. You can get the full value of your case with a lawyer who will fight for your rights.
The Guilty Party Should Stand Up…
But they don’t always do. If you were in an accident where the fault is not clearcut, speak to an attorney to see how you can protect your rights and point the fault directly where it’s supposed to be – on the negligent driver.