When there is more than one vehicle involved in a crash, each driver is likely to have a different story to tell regarding what caused it. These types of cases can become one driver’s word against another’s very quickly, regardless of who is truly responsible. As you probably already know, determining exactly who was at fault for an accident is crucial for you to be able to recover any compensation. Essentially, the driver found to be at fault is the one who is responsible for covering the losses the other driver suffered.
In some situations, the location of the damage on a vehicle can help show the circumstances that ultimately led to the accident. It is important to understand how damage location can help demonstrate fault and what you have to know about showing who is liable in an accident. For help and to learn even more, contact an auto accident law firm about your case.
What Story Does Your Damage Tell?
When you are working with an auto attorney about your accident case, they may seek the help of an accident reconstructionist. This is an expert who will try to determine what happened right before, during and after the crash. The severity of damage on each vehicle involved and where that damage is located on the car can show in which directions the cars were moving and how fast they were going at the time. This is why it is important to have someone take a look at vehicles as soon as possible after the crash. Your auto accident law firm can use this evidence to help build your case and show that you were not at fault in the accident.
Damage That Proves Fault
Location damage can help prove fault in some types of accidents, such as a rear-end collision. In these types of crashes, the car in the front has damage on its rear, while the car in the back shows damage in the front. In most rear-end collisions, the driver in the rear is who is at fault because they did not leave enough space for the car in front to safely stop.
However, keep in mind that determining who is at fault by damage location isn’t always cut and dry. When there are more than two vehicles involved or if the vehicle in front drove negligently, the damage locations on each vehicle alone may not be enough to get the full picture of what happened. If, for example, a driver doesn’t use a turn signal but slams the brakes with no warning and swerves, the driver behind them may not be at fault if they hit the front car. In this scenario, however, damage location alone would likely not be enough to show that, as it would present as a typical rear-end collision.
When damage location alone isn’t enough, the accident reconstructionist may take a look at other factors in play, including where the accident happened and the type of damage each vehicle has. A sideswipe accident, for example, can prove challenging when it comes to fault. But there is often damage to the front driver side of one car in a sideswipe crash, and that shows the car was in control of the direction it was going in. The other car may show damage in its middle side or elsewhere.
Other collisions, such as the head-on variety, can also be very challenging when it comes to determining fault. In a head-on crash, both cars can have front-end damage, so it’s not immediately obvious who caused the accident by the damage resulting from it. In such cases, it’s important to have a legal professional on your side to conduct an investigation, looking at video footage and evidence and speaking to witnesses to help build your case.
Proving fault in an accident is necessary to recover compensation for your losses, pain, and suffering. Since this can become complex quickly and you may find yourself fighting for your rights, it’s wise to speak to an auto accident law firm about your case as soon as you can so they can begin working for you.