Motor Accidents and How to Determine Who is at Fault
Have you ever been involved in a motor accident only to end up in a dispute about who's at fault? Hopefully you haven't been, and won't ever be in this situation. However, accidents happen and if you are caught in one, there are ways to determine who's at fault.
Were There any Violations of Traffic Law?
It's common knowledge that any driver who violated traffic law will be held largely responsible for a car accident. If either of the drivers involved are issued citations for running a red light, speeding or any other violation, that person will most probably be thought of as the one at fault. Insurance companies may disagree with police when determining liability. Remember that if you need compensation for an injury, loss of vehicle/income, or vehicle hire, there are people who can assist, like the specialist lawyers at Motor Accident Legal Service. If police aren't there to issue citations, judge for yourself if there've been obvious infractions, and try and get photographic evidence or witness details if you can.
What Kind of Evidence is there?
Different types of evidence are used by police and insurance companies to determine who's at fault. In general anything that seems relevant can be used. Photos are useful for determining the degree of damage. Video footage, both public and private, are even better as they may reveal what really happened. Physical evidence will play an important part – paint on the bumper, skid marks, broken lights are just a few examples.
Was it a Rear-End Collision or Right-Hand Turn?
In a lot of cases, if a driver hits another car from behind, it's his/her fault. In another common scenario, a driver making a right turn will be to blame if an accident occurs as a result of this turn. Keep in mind that while these scenarios may be common, you can't make assumptions. For instance, if someone brakes suddenly for no good reason, and the driver behind slams into this person, it will be the front driver's fault.
Were there Witnesses?
Drivers will find it hard to wwwit fault. However, witnesses usually have a clear idea about who's to blame. Take down their names and numbers and ask them to tell their account of the situation, including their reason for thinking which driver is at fault.
Was Either Driver Negligent Before the Accident?
Negligence is usually the legal justification for requiring a driver to reimburse the other for damage caused in an accident. Basically, if a driver failed to do, or not do, something that they should have done and this resulted in an accident, this driver would have to compensate the other driver. Negligence could be a violation of traffic law, like not stopping at a red light, driving at night with no headlights, or not using a signal before turning.
You will hopefully not end up in a motor accident, but it helps just to have some guidelines for determining who's at fault. Remember to keep yourself cool – it will not help the situation if there's more than one angry person, and in staying calm, all parties can move quickly to resolve the situation.