If you are injured in a car accident and bring a claim against another driver, will need to prove that the other driver was at fault to make any recovery.
Sometimes it is easy to prove that the other driver was at fault and at other times it is more challenging. If the other driver was issued a ticket as a result of the accident and the driver pleads guilty, the guilty plea can usually be used in a personal injury case as proof fault. The law considers the guilty plea an admission of wrongdoing. However, if the other driver pleads no contest or not guilty, even if they are found guilty, the finding of guilt cannot be used in court in a personal injury case as proof of fault.
Even if no ticket was issued, it can be easy to prove fault if there are independent witnesses to the accident who can verify the other driver caused the accident. The police report will usually list any witnesses to a crash. Sometimes it takes some work, however, to locate these witnesses and to get them to cooperate in the investigation of the case.
In some cases it can be very challenging to establish fault. For example, if no citations are issued and there are no independent witnesses and the drivers each blame one another for the accident, it can be very challenging to establish who was at fault for the accident. In these cases it is often necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert. These experts are usually engineers or retired police officers who have advanced training in analyzing and reconstructing motor vehicle crashes. The physical evidence related to the accident is critical to these experts. They look at things such as skid marks, crush damage to the vehicles, gouge marks on the roadway and the final rest position of the vehicles in determining the speed of the vehicles, the point of impact of the vehicles and other factors that help to unveil how the accident it happened and who was at fault in causing the accident. These experts may also want to examine records, usually maintained by a government entity, which relate to the design and construction of the roadway and the timing of the traffic signals located at an intersection. In addition, it is often important for the expert to examine the vehicle occupied by the injury victim in order to try to access the “black box” in the vehicle and to determine whether the seatbelts and airbags engaged properly.
It is extremely important that the physical evidence related to the crash be preserved and analyzed as soon as possible after an accident occurs. It is also important that the injury victim hire an experienced car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL trusts as soon as possible after the accident so that a proper investigation of the case can be made.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Luckman Law for their insight into proving fault after a car accident.