When it comes to auto accidents, fault matters a great deal. It all comes down to how the accident happened. The evidence gathered at the scene may turn out to be the strongest and most convincing of all. Read on and find out more about the unseen investigations happening right after your auto accident.
Fault Does Matter
Fault matters so much in car accidents that in a few states if you are at-fault even a little bit, you may end up not being compensated for your accident damages. In other states, the driver who is judged to be more at fault than the other will be paying the bulk of the damages. If the fault is in contention, it can lead to a lawsuit and having to hire accident reconstruction experts to arrive at a decision.
Evidence Available at the Scene
Law enforcement officers are trained to observe certain red flags at accident scenes and to arrive at a conclusion. That conclusion becomes part of the accident report. While the accident report is inadmissible in a court of law, it still contains important information about what the officer observed at the scene and is an extremely compelling piece of the accident puzzle. Take a look at some common factors used to determine fault at the accident scene.
- The damaged vehicles – a lot can be learned by the location of the damage on the vehicles along with where the vehicles came to rest.
- Road damage – Skid marks can show who applied the brakes and when. The officer will also observe any damage to objects on the side of the road like signs, trees, fences, and more. If more than a single collision occurred, vehicle parts may trail behind the scene and help create a timeline of events.
- Eyewitnesses – The officer will question both drivers and other passengers if they are well enough. They may also question other drivers not involved as well as anyone in nearby businesses or residences. It's worth noting that the officer may place more value in the statements provided by neutral parties than they might have the drivers or passengers since they had nothing to gain by misstating the truth.
- Recordings – The proliferation of cell phones means many accidents have been recorded by bystanders. Traffic cameras and those mounted on nearby homes and businesses provide more information about the accident.
If fault is in contention with your accident or the insurer is refusing to pay you what you deserve, speak to a personal injury attorney about your case right away.