At Faut Car Accidents
It’s hard to know who is at fault in different car accident scenarios. The at-fault party is generally the one who acted unsafely, though that may be difficult to determine. They may have been careless in signaling, checking their blind spot, or obeying posted signs and traffic lights. They may have been reckless by speeding or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Regardless of the accident, there is usually one person who is most at fault for a car crash. If you were in a collision and the fault is unclear, an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide guidance. While it may be evident to you who caused the accident, it is sometimes challenging to prove without help from legal experts who can aid you in finding and presenting solid evidence to support your claim.
Negligent Actions in Car Accident Scenarios
The law places the responsibility of due care on each individual. If someone acts carelessly and causes injury to another person, they should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. The individual who injures someone else because they choose to act irresponsibly should pay that person back for their suffering.
Of course, the problem arises when you find it difficult to prove that the other driver is the person who caused the accident.
To prove that the at-fault party acted negligently, you have to:
- Prove that the at-fault party (i.e., the defendant) owed you a duty of care. This duty of care is simply what any reasonable person could expect from another reasonable person—in this case, the duty to drive safely and legally.
- Prove that the defendant’s actions breached their duty of care. In a car accident, this might look like driving under the influence, speeding, etc.
- Prove that the defendant’s actions caused the accident. This criterion is the hardest to prove since it can be challenging to gather the necessary proof to establish who caused the accident.
- Prove that the accident caused your injuries and losses. You may have to show that you didn’t have any prior injuries or conditions and that all your suffering resulted from the accident.
As you can see, it’s not exactly easy to prove that negligence led to your accident. A personal injury lawyer can establish your innocence and the other driver’s fault after a car accident.
Typical Car Accident Scenarios
There are many car accident scenarios you may experience during your life as a driver. Let’s look at some of these scenarios and who may be at fault in each situation.
One of the most common accidents you’re likely to witness or experience is a rear-end. As the name suggests, this accident occurs when one car runs into the backend of another. They are common on crowded roadways and freeways when drivers misjudge the speed of cars in front of them or get distracted by their cell phones or other distractions.
Rear-endings are almost always the fault of the driver who came up from behind. The front driver may be responsible only if they fail to signal a stop or turn appropriately. If someone rear-ended you, you should hold them responsible for your injuries and damages.
Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous accidents because they usually involve two cars driving at full speed and colliding straight-on. They are often the result of a driver trying to pass another car in an unsafe area or running into the next lane because they are distracted or intoxicated.
If you were driving in your lane and another car veered into your lane and hit you, they are responsible for the accident and should cover your losses.
T-bone crashes happen when one driver drives into the side of another car. This type of accident commonly occurs at intersections when one car turns across the path of oncoming traffic. Usually, this occurs because one driver has failed to yield right of way or follow posted stop signs/traffic lights.
If someone T-boned you, they should be liable for careless driving, whether they simply didn’t see you or purposely ignored the laws of the road.
Sideswipe accidents usually occur when two cars rub against each other side by side. These accidents happen on multiple-lane roadways where one driver gets distracted or dozes off and slips into the next lane. Sometimes, the driver was intoxicated or on drugs and lost control of their vehicle.
In this scenario, the at-fault driver is almost certainly the driver who veered into the next lane regardless of why they swerved.
Multiple Vehicle Collisions
Multiple vehicle collisions may occur for any number of reasons. It can be hard to determine who initially caused the crash, though you’ll often find that it was someone who was speeding or driving while distracted. In general, one car hits another and causes a blockage in the roadway that leads other cars to crash into each other. Sometimes, one car will be hit at just the right angle and veer off into oncoming traffic.
Multiple drivers can cause a multi-vehicle collision, but frequently one driver is a catalyst for the accident. In such cases, a personal injury lawyer can assist in collecting evidence to determine who was actually at fault.
Side-impact crashes are usually very similar to sideswipe accidents but often involve different sections of the car. For example, one driver may forget to check their blind spot and try to switch lanes, hitting another car’s front side with its rear corner.
This type of accident is usually avoidable if drivers pay attention to what they are doing, check their blind spots, and always look at other cars before making turns and switching lanes. However, many drivers fail to take these steps and cause accidents resulting in serious damage to the cars, drivers, and passengers.
Single Car Accidents
Single car accidents usually happen when a driver runs their car off the road and hits a nearby object such as a guard rail, tree, post, fence, etc. These crashes can lead to multiple vehicle collisions if other drivers don’t have time to react fast enough to the disabled vehicle.
These accidents can be hard to blame on someone else but can occur when a driver swerves to avoid something in the roadway. This object is often something like a car that stopped suddenly or debris that fell out of a truck bed. If you were in a single-car collision caused by someone blocking your roadway, a lawyer can help you hold that driver responsible for your injuries.
What to Do After a Car Accident
You may not know what to do after you’re in a car accident.
Once the initial shock wears off, you can make the claims process easier if you:
- Get medical attention. No matter how much it costs or if you don’t believe you were injured, make sure you seek medical attention promptly. If you put this off, you can worsen your injuries, and you’re medical records and bills are evidence of your injuries and financial losses in a personal injury claim.
- Call a personal injury lawyer. Get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible so you can build a strong claim against the at-fault driver. Your lawyer will want to start collecting evidence immediately so they don’t miss anything that could help you earn more compensation.
- Collect evidence. Don’t throw anything away after an accident—keep medical records and bills, receipts for payments, insurance documents, photographs of injuries and car damage, etc. Your lawyer can help you determine what evidence you need to create an effective claim.
- Start a Journal. If you pursue a personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove that your injury caused you psychological, physical, and financial suffering. You can do this by keeping a written record of how you suffered daily due to the accident.
By taking these few steps, you’ll set yourself up for success when the time comes that you need to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Your lawyer will help you figure out if there’s anything else that you need to do once you’ve started working with them.
What Evidence Do You Need in a Car Accident Claim?
Some of the evidence you’ll need will probably depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
However, keep hold of as much evidence if you can.
A lawyer can always help you fill in the gaps.
- Medical records and bills are crucial for showing what injuries you sustained from the accident and how those injuries have set you back physically and financially.
- A police report can provide photos, witness statements, and the police’s interpretation of who caused the accident and how.
- Witness statements are crucial for showcasing the circumstances of your accident and how it looked from an outside, objective perspective.
- Receipts for any payments you made to repair damaged property or replace things you lost help calculate the crash’s full financial impact on your life.
- A journal will detail how the accident affected your personal and mental health.
- Sometimes, expert testimony can help bolster your claim that your injuries will continue to cause you ongoing issues or disabilities for the rest of your life.
What Damages Can You Collect From the At-Fault Driver?
You can collect two types of damages after a car accident: economic and non-economic.
These two categories cover:
- Medical expenses for emergency room visits, surgeries, procedures, prescriptions, medical equipment, etc.
- Property damage expenses.
- Loss of income and earning capacity if you can’t return to work after the accident or take time off to recover.
- Pain and suffering.
- Scarring, disfigurement, and humiliation.
- Emotional trauma or distress.
- Loss of consortium (relationships).
- Loss of life enjoyment.
As you can see, you’ll need a variety of evidence to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver to compensate you for all of these damages. However, claim your total losses and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
After a car accident, talking to a lawyer is extremely important in recovering what is rightfully yours. Don’t pay the price for another driver’s foolish actions and negligence on the road. A good car accident lawyer will help you pursue and attain the justice you deserve after a crash.
If you need help recovering the total compensation for your recovery and all other losses you’ve suffered, contact an experienced car accident lawyer for your free case consultation as soon as possible.