When a car accident happens, a person’s life can be changed in an instant. In fact, even when a car accident doesn’t result in long-term or permanent injuries, it can be shocking, expensive to remedy, and result in painful physical and psychological injuries.
After a car accident, determining who is at fault for the collision is important. Indeed, Georgia is a traditional tort liability state, which means the party who caused the accident is responsible for paying for it, and the party who wasn’t at fault for the accident has the right to pursue an action against the at-fault party.
To recover the amount of compensation you deserve after a crash, then, you’ll have to prove fault. Consider the following about how to determine fault in a car accident, and how our personal injury lawyers can help.
Evidence Used to Determine Fault in a Car Accident
When a car crash occurs, it usually happens within a matter of seconds, and therefore it can be confusing to know exactly who’s to blame or what happened. To add clarity to the situation, there are a variety of sources of evidence that can be gathered and presented. These include:
- Each driver’s statement. After an accident, each driver involved will be expected to give a statement about how they think the crash occurred. Not surprisingly, these statements are often in direct contradiction with one another, with each driver often blaming the other. In rare cases, both drivers will be in complete agreement about whose fault the accident was.
- Any passengers’ statements. Just like drivers involved in the crash, passengers too will be asked to share an opinion about how the crash occurred and who was at fault. While this can be a good source of evidence, especially in the event that other solid evidence types are lacking, passengers are often biased, and therefore they are not the most credible of witnesses.
- Eyewitnesses’ statements. One of the most valuable people in the process of figuring out who’s to blame in a car accident is an eyewitness. An eyewitness to the accident who saw the whole thing and is not invested in the crash in any way (i.e. knows neither driver) can speak, very credibly, to what they saw happen, providing important clues as to who’s at fault.
- Accident reconstruction experts’ opinions. When fault for an accident cannot be determined by the statements of the various parties listed above, an accident reconstruction expert may be called to the scene. An accident reconstruction expert is responsible for collecting and analyzing all evidence to determine what happened.
- Photo or video evidence. In rare cases, a video of the accident may exist, which makes determining fault for an accident much easier. In other cases, photos taken directly after the accident may provide clues about how the accident happened. For example, skid marks may indicate that one party tried to brake suddenly.
- Vehicle damage. Damage to a vehicle can also provide insight into fault for a crash, especially combined with the above evidence types. For example, if one vehicle has damage to its front end and the other vehicle damage to its side, it’s reasonable to assume that a T-bone accident occurred. If the accident occurred in the intersection, and there is an eyewitness that says that vehicle one ran a red light, T-boning into vehicle two, the driver of vehicle one may be found at fault.
How to Prove You Are Not at Fault in a Car Accident
In addition to proving the fault of the other driver, it is equally as important to remember that this means proving you were not at fault. If you are found to be partially at fault for an accident in Georgia, your damages award can be diminished in proportion to your degree of fault, per Georgia’s rule of comparative negligence.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Figuring out how to prove who is at fault in a car accident can be difficult, especially if you were seriously injured and are focusing on your recovery. Even if you weren’t seriously injured, not knowing how to investigate a crash and not having the resources to hire accident reconstruction and other experts can seriously jeopardize your case.
That’s where a skilled personal injury lawyer comes in. At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. our lawyers are expert investigators who know what insurance adjusters are looking for and know how to prove fault and disprove allegations made against our clients.
Call Our Law Firm Today
For a free consultation with our car accident lawyers, please call us today or send us a message telling us more about your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, and consultations are always offered free of charge. We have offices in Athens, Atlanta, and Lake Oconee and there is no fee unless we win your case.