How to Prove You Are Not at Fault in a Car Accident
Updated: Nov 5
Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful ordeal. There are a lot of steps to take to ensure that everything gets settled. There is also the stress of proving the other driver was at fault. To receive proper compensation, it is best to understand the situation and follow useful tips.
How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?
The insurance company determines the driver at fault based on the definition of negligence. Unfortunately, this definition can vary from state to state. There is no particular definition of negligence when it comes to car accidents. Plus, some situations can get pretty dicey.
For the most part, insurance companies and states determine negligence as something that happens when a driver does not apply the same amount of caution that a sensible person would in the same situation. Of course, this definition is not concrete, meaning it can be challenging to determine negligence in some car accident situations.
An example of negligence is when a car, which has the right of way, gets hit by another vehicle instructed to follow a red light. The car that ran the red light is at fault for neglecting the stoplight and hitting the car in the right of way.
What Are Ways to Prove Innocence after an Accident?
Getting stuck in the aftermath of a car accident can be an annoying task that could have been avoided. Unfortunately, people get involved in these situations, and they have to deal with them. However, getting compensated fairly is very critical for those who were not at fault. For this, it is crucial to take action after the accident to prove the other driver was at fault. Even if the blame is obviously on the other driver, their insurance company can still ease their payment by blaming the victim.
One of the best ways to help in proving fault is to take pictures. If it is safe to do so after an accident, be sure to take pictures that prove the other driver was at fault. The pictures should be of both cars, the driving conditions, and any other things that may help the case. If the victim cannot take pictures because they acquired a personal injury, they can ask a witness of the accident or any passengers.
Speaking of witnesses, talking to a witness of the accident can help prove fault in a car accident. By taking their contact information and a statement, the victim of an accident has excellent evidence when proving fault. Witnesses are powerful pieces in a case because they do not act in the interest of either driver in the accident.
Another way to prove the fault is to contact the police. A police report provides trustworthy details about the accident and the aftermath. Victims of a car accident can then use the police report to successfully strengthen their case and file an insurance claim. A police report usually contains statements, narrations of the accident, and the officer's conclusion for the party at fault.
Hiring an attorney is another excellent way of strengthening a case. While this is not necessary, having a professional on the case can be useful for very damaging accidents.
All in all, it is vital to be prepared for proving who was at fault in a car accident. Taking pictures for clear-cut evidence and talking to witnesses for third-party stances can go a long way in a case.
What Are the Steps to Take After Being Involved in an Accident?
Statistics show that almost everyone gets involved in a car accident. Some experience them more frequently than others; however, it is still vital to always be prepared if one happens.
After a collision, everything can feel overwhelming. There is a lot of adrenaline as a result of a frightening accident. It is possible to forget the steps to take, but things can be okay by staying calm and reaching out to the right resources. Here is what to do after an accident:
Pullover and call the proper authorities. Be sure to turn on hazard lights when doing so to be as safe as possible. When it is safe to do so, call the police or the proper authorities, depending on the collision's severity.
Exchange information with the other party involved. Whether or not the police arrive at the scene, it is crucial to exchange contact information with all parties involved. Contact information is the most important, but so is insurance company information.
Obtain a police report if necessary. Many car accident victims call the police immediately, but most states allow people to file police reports within 72 hours of the accident. The rules for these reports differ in each state. Some make them a requirement, while others make them optional if the case has no injuries. However, it is best to file a report if state traffic laws are not entirely understood.
Is it Necessary to Declare an Accident without Fault?
It is crucial to declare all accidents, even if the driver is not at fault. Not reporting an accident can lead to the insurance company invalidating the policy. Most insurance providers require declarations for all accidents, but some do not. It is best to report all accidents to be on the safe side.
What Is a No-Fault State?
A no-fault state is one that holds a statewide traffic law that determines insurance companies compensate their clients in the event of an accident. Even if their case shows they are not at fault, their policy must cover them. A doubt liability case or a lawsuit can occur if the accident is severe.
What Is a Not-At-Fault Collision Claim?
A not-at-fault collision claim is one in which a driver gets compensated by their insurance company. After an accident, instead of receiving compensation from the at-fault party's insurance, the payment comes from each driver's policy. For example, after a rear-end incident in which only one vehicle- the victim's- gets damaged, the victim's insurance would cover the costs, not the at-fault party. This is usually a statewide traffic law that gets enforced in no-fault states.
Drivers must abide by these rules if they are in a no-fault state. People can file a doubt liability claim or personal injury lawsuit against the other driver only if medicals bills exceed a particular price. People can also file a personal injury lawsuit if the injuries are severe enough.
How to Prove Injuries Are a Result of an Accident?
Car accidents often spur unwanted injuries; with these come medical bills, discomfort, and pain. Proving that injuries were caused an accident can help ease bills and some of the stress that follows a car accident case.
It is easy to prove that exterior injuries are a result of a car accident. Cuts, bruises, and any other external wounds prove clear evidence that the accident generated damage. However, the interior ones get more complicated since they are harder to prove. A lawyer or insurance company can claim an existing injury before the accident, or they could dismiss it altogether.
The best way to ensure fair compensation is to gather as much evidence as possible. Medical documents, such as bills, can help prove injuries. After an accident, even if it was a minor rear end, it is critical to see a doctor. They can concretely diagnose any wounds that resulted from the accident. If the accident were serious and requires lawyers, it would help to avoid talking to other insurance companies before talking to a lawyer. This can help prevent harmful information from appearing in the case.
If lawyers get involved in a case, then complying with all their requests can help the case. If they ask for medical records, giving them all the information they need can go a long way.
Common Car Accident Cases that May Require Proving Fault
Some accident situations almost always require that fault be proven. A rear-end, though, usually does not need evidence since, most of the time, a rear-end is caused by the vehicle behind the victim's vehicle. However, any collisions on a road or freeway need fault to be proven since it determines whose insurance policy is liable. For example, when a crash occurs after a vehicle attempts a left turn, there can be a gray area when determining fault. The vehicle attempting the left turn must wait for oncoming vehicles to pass until completing the left turn. However, misjudgment can take over for either party. Cases like these require multiple sources of information to prove fault.
Proving the party at fault, however, does not apply to no-fault states. This is because the insurance companies cover their own clients' damages, rather than their victims'.
Staying Safe on the Road
It is essential to always stay safe and aware on the road. While it is almost impossible to avoid accidents entirely, taking extra precautions can save time, money, and people's safety. By avoiding negligence and being a responsible driver, people can avoid being at-fault in an accident.
Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.