How Do I Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault?
You’ve been hit by somebody else’s car. The wreck caused you to suffer injuries, and you had to go to the hospital. The wreck also forced you to miss work and incur lost wages. You would like to recover for what you have lost, but how exactly do you go about doing that? The success of your car accident claim will depend on whether you can prove fault, also known as liability. States have personal injury laws in place to help victims get compensated for their losses caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness. However, proving fault can sometimes be easier said than done, which is why it is important to conduct a proper investigation in order to reveal critical evidence.Identifying Evidence to Help Your Personal Injury Case Succeed
In representing a car accident victim, our Memphis lawyers seek to let no stone go unturned in pursuit of proving our client’s case. Below are some of the sources in which critical evidence can be gathered or identified following an accident:
- Police report: It is recommended to call the police after an accident takes place, and in some states, it’s the law. Responding law enforcement, which could include your local police department, sheriff’s office, or state highway patrol, will be able to secure the scene and call for aid if needed. Further, officers can speak with the parties, obtain statements from witnesses, take measurements, and take photographs. Citations for fault can also be issued. All of this information should be contained in the official police report.
- Crash location: The scene of the wreck often contains valuable clues. In cases where fault is contested, expert witnesses and accident reconstruction experts may be retained to visit the scene. Physical evidence, including skid marks and the condition of the road, can provide valuable insight into actions like braking and turns, both of which could have affected what happened. Depending on your state’s comparative negligence rules, your claim could be denied if you are not able to collect all relevant evidence in a timely manner. For example, if you were injured in a wreck in Memphis, our Memphis car accident lawyers can consult with experts and investigators who can travel to the accident scene immediately to begin surveying it.
- Physical damage to the vehicles: Knowing where the impact took place can go a long way in proving how the wreck happened. After an accident, inspecting the physical property damage can suggest information including force of impact and location of the cars immediately prior to impact. For example, in intersection crashes, the exact point of impact can be used to suggest that one car had the right of way. Photographs of property damage can be useful in documenting the harm done to your vehicle.
- Witnesses: Independent witnesses play a critical role in the success of a personal injury case. Even if you see a witness talking to the police officer, you should still obtain that person’s name and contact information in case he or she gets left off of the police report by accident. Our car accident attorneys seek to interview witnesses as quickly as possible to take their statement, as memories can fade as time goes on.
- Criminal proceedings: If the defendant driver was charged with a crime at the scene, such as driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), he or she may be prosecuted through criminal court. The prosecution can take place while your civil claim with the insurance company remains pending. It will be important to monitor the drunk driving criminal proceedings, as evidence obtained in that case could be used in your civil case against the drunk driver and his/her insurance company.
Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is a large regional personal injury law firm representing people throughout Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping injured clients through all aspects of their case and helping them get their lives back on track. Many of our clients come from cities such as Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Jackson, Tupelo, Oxford, Hattiesburg, Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Caruthersville, and Paducah. For a free consultation with a car or truck accident lawyer near you, call 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. NST is the way to go.