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Proving Fault in Auto Accidents

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Proving Fault in Auto Accidents

If you are involved in an auto accident, proving that it was someone else's fault can be very important.  You may need to prove the accident was another person's fault to your insurance company or even in court. Simply saying you know it wasn't your fault won't cut it. You will need some kind of evidence, such as dash cam footage or witnesses, that someone else was negligent or careless and that this carelessness caused the accident. Below are some places you can look to in order to find credible support for your argument.

Police Reports

If the police came to the scene of your auto accident they probably filed a report.  It is also possible that you or another person involved in the accident filed a police report.  Obtain a copy of this report and review it.  Often, the report will contain the officer's opinion of what happened and who was at fault and whether any citations were issued.  Any mention of someone being at fault, traffic violations, and/or carelessness can provide strong support for your claim.

Traffic Laws in the State of the Accident

You can also look for support for your claim that another driver caused the accident in your state's traffic laws that regulate driving.  A simplified version of these laws can usually be found at the Department of Motor vehicles.  Look for laws that apply to your accident, such as speed limits, right of way laws, and road signs.  If you find any laws that you feel apply to your accident, copy them down word for word and note where they are located in the Vehicle Code.

Situations Where the Other Driver is Almost Always at Fault

There are a few situations in which the other driver will be found at fault in almost all cases.  These situations include the following: 

  • Rear-End Collisions - If you've been rear-ended by someone else it is almost assured that the other driver was at fault.  A basic rule of driving is to make sure you have enough room to stop safely.
  • Left Turn Accidents - Anytime a car is making a left turn the driver will be liable for a collision with a car heading straight in the opposite direction.  There are only a few rare exceptions to this rule.

I'm Trying to Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault, Do I Need a Lawyer?

Proving fault in an accident can be a difficult matter.  This is true whether you are dealing with your auto insurance company or you are in court.  A personal injury lawyer can help you in either of these situations to make sure you get the results you want.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 10-05-2015 04:04 AM PDT

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