Proving Who Is at Fault in an Auto Collision
Posted on behalf of Edwards Law Firm on Oct 23, 2015 in Auto Accidents
Thousands of car accidents occur every day in the United States for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a driver isn't paying attention or is driving recklessly. Sometimes there is an issue with visibility or poor road conditions. Whatever the reason, a car accident can ruin your day and cost you thousands in repairs. In the worst cases, it can cause severe injuries or even death.
Your first thought in a car accident will probably be the safety of you, your passengers and anyone else involved in the crash. After checking to see if everyone is ok and taking initial safety precautions, most drivers in the U.S. will want to determine who is at fault. This is primarily a result of our at-fault insurance system.
Most states, including Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas, are at-fault car insurance states. This means that whoever is found to have caused the auto accident will be financially liable for all damages and injuries resulting from the accident. In some cases, the fault can be split among both or several drivers.
In typical car accidents where there is no immediately apparent injury, the drivers of both vehicles will simply exchange insurance contact information and drive off. But this is a mistake.
Some injuries may not show up until later. The auto insurance companies are businesses that want to avoid paying out if they don't have to, and the other driver is interested in keeping their premium rates from going up. In some instances, the other driver may not even be insured. Although it may seem polite to apologize and accept blame, even if you know you weren't at fault, this can be used against you in a liability claim.
There is a great deal of information that can be used in an auto accident claims process. You may not be aware of all the facts. If you have been in an auto collision, there are several things you can do to increase the chances of your claim being approved.
What to Do After a Car Accident
- Call 911 Especially if anyone has been injured or a vehicle is on fire. When the police arrive, make sure to give them as many details as possible and ask for a copy of the report.
- Gather information and evidence Note any information that may demonstrate that the at-fault driver was negligent. Were they talking on their phone? Did they run a red light? Were they speeding? Did they fail to signal while changing lanes? Take photos of the accident scene, skid marks, damage to vehicles and injuries.
- Collect information from witnesses If there were any eyewitnesses, ask if they can give a statement and get their contact information. Bystanders may have seen the accident from different angles, which may provide information that you were not aware of.
- Record comments made by the driver If the other driver says they couldn't see you, apologizes for hitting you or makes other admissions of fault or negligent behavior they can be assigned blame for the accident.
- Contact an attorney Do not assume that your insurance company will work things out. Although some insurance sites list simple scenarios for determining who is at fault, every accident is different, and the specific details of your accident may impact liability. Especially if there is an injury involved, you will want to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney to ensure your claim is handled properly.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another drivers negligence, contact The Edwards Law Firm, Oklahoma car accident lawyers, today. We will fight for your justice!