For your car accident claim to be successful, you must be able to show that the other driver was at fault for the collision. There are different types of evidence that can be used to help support your claim. Below, Goldberg Finnegan’s trusted attorneys explain how a driver may be found at fault for an automobile accident. If you were injured in a collision, request a free, no-obligation consultation and speak with our attorneys about your legal options.
Elements of Negligence in a Car Accident
For a driver to be held liable for damages resulting from a car accident, it must be proven that he or she was negligent. This means the at-fault driver failed to act in a reasonable manner to prevent harm to others.
There are four elements you must establish to prove the other driver’s negligence:
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care. Motorists owe other roadway users a duty of care to follow traffic laws and control their vehicles in a safe manner to prevent accidents.
- The at-fault driver breached the duty of care owed to you. Speeding, reckless or distracted driving, or breaking traffic laws are examples of a driver breaching his or her duty of care.
- The at fault driver’s breach of duty of care directly caused your injuries. You would have been unharmed if not for the at-fault driver’s breach of duty.
- As a result of your injuries, you suffered damages. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as property damage expenses.
Using Vehicle Damage as Evidence
Vehicle damage may help to show fault in a car accident claim. The location and severity of vehicle damage can be an indicator of the type of accident that occurred.
- In the event of a T-bone or right-angle collision, damage to the middle of the passenger side of the victim’s vehicle may show the at-fault driver was not paying attention as he or she pulled out into the intersection and crashed into the victim’s vehicle.
- Damage to the left front of the oncoming vehicle may show the victim swerved to attempt to avoid the collision. If there is damage to the left-turning vehicle’s front right corner, it may mean the driver cut in front of traffic to make the left turn, failing to pay attention to oncoming traffic. Damage to the left-turning car’s rear right corner may indicate the driver of the oncoming vehicle may not have been paying attention. The further back the damage to the turning vehicle’s right rear side, the more likely the turning vehicle nearly finished the turn.
- Collisions involving a driver running a red light often cause damage to the front of the at-fault driver’s vehicle and the driver’s side of the victim’s vehicle.
Preserving Additional Evidence
After an accident, there are steps you can take that may help to preserve evidence showing the other driver’s fault. When you are at the scene of the accident:
- Call the police and request a copy of the accident report.
- Take pictures of the vehicles and their damage, roadway conditions, damage to roadside structures, skid marks, debris in the road, etc.
- Gather names and contact information for witnesses who saw the accident occur.
Who Determines Fault?
When investigating an accident, the responding law enforcement officer may note in the accident report which driver he or she believes is at fault for the collision. This information may be weighed as the insurance company investigates the claim.
After you file an insurance claim, the insurance adjuster investigates the accident to decide who is at fault. If you do not agree with the insurance company’s determination, you or your attorney may be able to make a counteroffer.
Contact Us for Help After a Crash
If you were injured in a car accident, Goldberg Finnegan’s Silver Spring car accident lawyers are ready to help you recover maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If we validate your claim and you hire us, we could thoroughly investigate to try to build a case against the other driver.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today and learn what legal options may be available to help you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries. You are under no obligation to hire our firm. If you choose Goldberg Finnegan to represent you, you pay no upfront fees – payment is only due if we recover compensation on your behalf.