Accident Causation: Who Is At Fault & Who Gets Paid
When it comes to auto accidents, the party that caused the collision isn’t always a straightforward thing…
If you were injured in a car accident, it is very likely that one of the drivers involved caused the accident. Proving fault is one way that car accident attorneys help to protect your injury claim; insurance companies use liability to determine who pays damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, property damage and lost wages.
Did you know that negligent driving behavior and/or driver error is the cause of close to 98% of all vehicle accidents? That means that if you were hurt in a car accident, it is extremely likely that the accident was caused by one of the drivers involved in the accident. In fact, one of the following behaviors was likely responsible: aggressive driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving, or speeding. And it is the driver who acted negligently or made an error who is almost always at fault. The person at-fault is liable for the damages caused in the accident and the injuries sustained in the accident, and it is their insurance company who is left holding the check for it all.
Insurance companies are businesses first. Their goal is to make money for themselves and their shareholders, not to give it away to you. An insurance company will want proof of liability before they pay out a settlement.
It may seem obvious who caused an accident. If you were idling at a red light and you were rear-ended by a different car, It should be should not be difficult to prove that the driver of the other car is to blame. But, if you were side-swiped in high-speed traffic, it may not be so obvious. If you were hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, it is your car crash lawyer’s job to prove that the other driver was at fault.
You may be asking yourself, how does an attorney prove which party is at fault following an auto accident?
Rear End Accidents
Sometimes, proving fault after an accident is pretty straight forward. When you driving, you are responsible for making sure you are following the rules of the road. For example, you must follow at a safe distance that allows you enough room to stop should the car you are following come to a suddenly brake. For this reason, most rear end accidents are considered to be the fault of the driver who does the rear-ending.
Left turn accidents are almost always the fault of the driver making the left turn. Most commonly, vehicles approaching an intersection straight on maintain the right of way.
There are exceptions, of course. If the car going straight runs a red light or is speeding, that driver may be partially or wholly at fault. While a driver who is rear-ended is usually not at fault in accident, if their vehicle had broken brake lights for example, then that driver could be to blame for the accident.
In these cases, it is important that the not-at-fault driver has the help of an attorney both to prove fault and to make sure that the driver is not held liable for an accident he did not cause.
When lawyers prove liability they use any and all evidence from the accident scene, including:
- Police reports
- Witness reports
- State traffic laws or vehicle codes
- Vehicle damage
- Photos of the accident scene
- Medical records
- Accident reconstruction
After a car wreck, your accident attorney will use this evidence to support your claim for compensation from the insurance companies and ensure that you get are paid fairly for your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost income, property damage and other losses. Proving which party is at fault is just one of the many ways a Kansas City auto accident lawyer can help injured victims fight insurance companies.