How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident

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A woman on the phone after a car accident.

When a motor vehicle accident occurs, the first thing parties do is try to shift blame to the other person. This is important because whoever takes responsibility for the accident has to bear the legal and financial costs associated with car accidents.

To avoid the financial and criminal responsibilities for a motor vehicle accident, you must prove that the other party is at fault. To do so, any of these three circumstances must be in your favor:

  1. The defendant made a traffic violation, which led to the accident. For instance, if you prove that the defendant ran a red light and you had the right of way at the time, he would get the blame for the accident
  2. It was a rear-end accident
  3. It was a left turn accident

These cases are pretty clear-cut, so proving fault is a one-way trip. However, in some cases, shifting the blame to the other party is not as easy. Situations like this come up where you both were at fault; you would need to prove that the defendant had a larger part to play in causing the accident. This can be tricky, so you need the best Lakeland auto accident attorney fighting on your side.

The Defendant Flouted a Traffic Law

Police reports and eye witness statements are beneficial in this case. If you can prove that the defendant was engaged in some form of reckless driving, for instance, that he was driving under the influence or that he ran a red light, he would be blamed for the accident.

To prove that the accident was a result of a traffic law violation by the defendant, you would have to look at the traffic laws applicable in Florida to find the one which applies to your case. You can also look at the police report if one is available. If there was no police officer at the scene of the accident, you could ask the defendant to follow you to the nearest police station to report the accident. If there was a criminal prosecution against him, the verdict could also be a useful tool when proving your case.

Rear-End Accidents

One clear-cut path to proving fault is to prove that the defendant hit you from behind. In such cases, it is rarely your fault, no matter why you stopped or if the stop was abrupt, as traffic rules require drivers to be able to stop safely if other vehicles ahead of them are stopped. Proving fault in a rear end accident is easy because the damage speaks for itself. Any argument about who caused the accident is often trite as the court can easily tell who hit the other person by looking at who has front end damage and who has rear end damage.

However, you may not be entitled to compensation or only get a reduced compensation if the accident was also as a result of your carelessness. This is the rule in Comparative Negligence; in such cases, you must have done something which contributed to the accident.

Left Turn Accidents

Another clear-cut path to proving fault in a car accident is where it is a left turn accident. The rule of thumb in left turn accident is that the car turning left is always at fault; this is because the car on the right has the right of way. There are, however, situations where the car going straight would be at fault:

  1. Where the driver was going over the speed limit
  2. Where the driver ran a red light

Like rear-end collisions, the damage in this case also speaks for itself as the front end on one car would be damaged while the right facing side of the other would be damaged. If both cars were turning left, you could prove that the defendant was going too fast or driving too close to you.

How Your Lakeland Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help You

To get compensation after a car accident, you don’t only need to prove that the defendant is at fault, you also need to prove the extent of damage and that the damage qualifies you to receive compensation. Your Lakeland personal injury attorney who has experience with auto accident cases can help you prove to the court that you suffered extensive damage and you’re deserving of compensation.

When to Contact Your Lakeland Auto Accident Lawyer

You should call an attorney immediately after a car accident; this will ensure you get a head start preparing your case and give you a better shot at getting compensation. Call Burnetti, P.A. today to schedule a consultation.

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