Identifying who caused a traffic accident is vital because it determines who is most likely to be legally liable for the injuries and other harm victims sustained in the crash. Fault is rarely clear-cut. You need evidence to support your accusation if you believe another driver caused your crash and want to recover money damages.
The best way to determine fault is to investigate and gather evidence to prove what happened, why the collision occurred, and who caused it. A personal injury attorney can manage the process of developing a strong case after a traffic accident.
Types of Traffic Accidents
Car crashes and other vehicle collisions can occur in many ways. Even within each category, there can be many different causes and factors that contribute to a crash. Some common types of car accidents include:
- Backing-up collisions
- Head-on crashes
- Intersection accidents
- Sideswipe crashes
- T-bone collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Changing lane crashes
- Open door accidents
- Multi-car collisions
- Hitting an animal crash
- Hitting a parked car accident
To prove who is at fault, there must be an investigation of each individual accident. This is the only way to determine exactly what happened, who played a role, and what role they played. In some cases, shared fault–known as contributory negligence–can greatly impact the rights and financial recovery of the victim.
Understanding How Car Accident Investigations Work
There are many actions you will need to take to gather evidence and build a strong case to support your insurance claim if you suffered injuries or serious property damages in a crash.
Many people opt to work with a car accident attorney for this reason. The attorney can use their firm’s resources and their training and experience to handle this process. It could take weeks or even months to conduct a thorough investigation into a crash. A law firm can:
- Request a copy of the crash report filed by the police
- Survey the accident scene
- Obtain your medical records related to the accident
- Canvass for witnesses
- Analyze physical evidence
- Work with accident reconstruction experts
- Call in other experts as needed
- Document your damage
- Put a fair settlement value on your case
During this time, you will be able to focus on your treatment and recovery from your injuries. Managing this on your own is likely to be time-consuming, stressful, and possibly very difficult or impossible.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Why does Fault Matter So Much in a Traffic Accident?
To recover compensation for the damages you suffered in an accident, most states require you to file a claim or civil lawsuit against the liable party. The liable party is most likely the at-fault driver in a car accident case. In a crash with a commercial vehicle, it may be the driver and their employer.
This means that you must identify who caused the collision and have evidence to support your allegation before you file your insurance claim or seek compensation through litigation in the local county civil courts.
While some states have no-fault auto accident laws, most still rely on fault-based systems. Even in locations with a no-fault statute, victims with serious injuries can often step outside this system to hold the at-fault driver financially accountable.
What Should I do to Determine Fault and Pursue Compensation?
The best thing a traffic accident victim can do to protect their rights and support their pursuit of fair compensation is hire an attorney. Most law firms provide free case assessments to crash victims and work based on contingency fees.
The lawyer will handle the investigation, determination of fault, filing the claim, and negotiating for a settlement. The victim will not need to worry about any of this.
Unfortunately, a minority of cases do require the victim to sue the at-fault party. However, this does not mean the case will go to trial. It could still settle out of court, and often they do. However, there are deadlines for starting a lawsuit. This includes:
- One year or less in Louisiana, La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Two years in Alabama, Ala. Code § 6-2-38
- Three years in Arkansas, Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- Three years in Mississippi, Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
These are the statutes of limitations set by state law for these cases. The facts of your case could support more time or less time. Your law firm can help you determine if this applies to your case during your free consultation.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Traffic Collision Case for Free Today
At the Morris Bart law firm, we help accident victims hold at-fault drivers accountable. We can investigate what happened and develop a strong case to support fair compensation for you. The areas we serve include Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. We operate 16 offices to support accident victims across the Gulf South.
Call (800) 537-8185 now to speak with a team member for free. Our contingency fee firm is here to help you heal from the harm you suffered.
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