So you want to know how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident? You must show sufficient evidence that another party was at fault. This evidence may include the police report, eyewitness statements, photos or videos of the scene, including damage to the surrounding area, skid marks, road signs, traffic camera footage, notes of recollections of the collision, medical records, etc.
The more documentation you have, the stronger your case will be, but remember that the evidence can vary for each situation, and there’s no predefined list of evidence to prove someone’s fault.
Evidence That May Prove Fault in a Car Accident
To succeed in a car accident lawsuit, preserving the evidence of the car accident is essential. Most evidence needs to be collected right after the accident since it may only be available at that time, such as photographs. Some of the potential evidence that may help you to demonstrate fault following an accident are:
A Copy of the Police Report
If you called the police to the accident scene, they likely filed a report. This document will list the collision’s time, date, and location. The officer might have also listed some extra details about the accident, like whether anybody appeared intoxicated or if any traffic citations were issued. This information can support your pursuit of compensation.
If other people saw your accident happen, you may be able to use their statements to support your case. Eyewitnesses can include other passengers, bystanders, and law enforcement officials.
Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, can also be consulted to help establish exactly what happened.
Traffic Camera Footage
Many intersections and significant roadways come equipped with traffic cameras. These devices record collisions, which can be essential in proving that you didn’t cause a car accident.
Lawyers can get this footage for you. Book a free consultation with a lawyer near you.
Black Box Data
Nowadays, some modern cars come with “black boxes.” These electronic devices track the speed, force of impact, and other data in collisions. We can use this data to verify certain aspects of your case, like your speed before the crash, braking times, and speed at impact, among other things.
Evidence From the Accident Scene
An accident scene tells story. Glass on the roadway illustrates the force of impact. Smashed doors, spoilers, and trunks show what type of accident happened.
If you have any pictures of the accident scene and your vehicle, keep them. Even the smallest detail can prove instrumental in advancing your case.
Your Medical Records
To recover compensation for sustained damages, you must prove that you suffered harm. Your medical records should demonstrate the following:
- The severity of your condition
- Your diagnosis and prognosis
- Your necessary treatments
Always Call 911 After a Car Accident
Before exiting the vehicle (unless it is dangerous to remain in your car), call 911 to report the accident and any injuries you know of. This serves several benefits: first, and most importantly, first responders are alerted and dispatched to the scene; second, it removes the possibility of the other driver trying to convince you not to call it in. Sometimes, an at-fault driver may change their story or deny important facts if there is no accident report, making it your word against theirs. If the other driver acted recklessly or negligently, inform the 911 operator and the responding officer.
Gather Photo and Video Evidence at the Scene
Most of us carry smartphones with ingrained photos and video capability, so we can quickly produce high-quality images and video with the equipment in our pockets, which means that documenting the accident is very easy. If you can do so, take photos and videos of the crash. Videos can be beneficial because you can narrate as you go.
No matter how vivid the crash may feel in the moments after, memory is unreliable, but videos will never change. If documenting the accident will complicate your injuries, ask someone else to do so. The more tangible documentation you can gather, the more support you will have as you work to present your story and prove your innocence.
Do’s and don’ts at the time of the car accident
Having discussed the evidence post-accident, the next steps are the actions to take or not to take at the time of the car accident. Your actions and statements can significantly impact the outcome of your car accident lawsuit. So, it is vital to remain calm and composed before getting out of your vehicle. You should avoid doing any of the following just after the accident:
No-doubt liability accidents are defined as blatant traffic violations where it is easy to prove who was at fault.
Things like running a red light, stop signs, rear-end collisions, speeding, driving under the influence, or other unambiguous and unmistakable traffic violations make it simple to determine which driver was at fault.
Ultimately, liability will come down to the facts and the specific details of the accident. If you can prove and rule out the possibility of a no-doubt liability accident where you are at fault, you will be in a better position to defend your case.
Don’t admit fault; keep it to yourself.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, it can quickly become a serious legal matter. What you say and whom you tell it to matter a great deal. As a rule of thumb, keep the details of the incident to yourself and only share them with an attorney. If you make any comments to the police officer, the other driver, or even the insurance company suggesting you may be at fault, your credibility will weaken, and you stand the risk of implying your negligence in the accident.
Don’t agree to the first settlement offer.
Sometimes, the other party’s insurance company might contact you and make you a settlement offer. In other cases, you or your attorney will submit a demand letter on your behalf. Whenever you receive any settlement offers, evaluate them carefully to ensure the insurance company is being fair. Insurance companies are in the business of saving money, typically look out for their best interests, and don’t always make fair settlements. Having a competent legal professional negotiating on your behalf can be instrumental in obtaining the best settlement offer. If you’re representing yourself, protect your interests and always negotiate for a higher settlement.
Being involved in a car accident can be unsettling. However, if details are handled thoughtfully at the time of the accident, it can become easier to prove the other party’s fault. Moreover, the final consequences of these incidents can affect all parties involved in the accident; remember that it may be complicated and time-consuming to handle such cases without professional legal counsel.
There are instances where drivers are severely injured or go into shock at a car accident scene. If for any reason you cannot collect the evidence at the scene of the accident, consult a car accident lawyer and consider their legal advice and assistance in identifying and preserving the evidence to support your lawsuit.
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