How Blame Is Determined in Car Accidents
Car accidents are among some of the scariest things that the average person has to go through. Adrenaline is pumping; people are checking other people in their car while also assessing their injuries. It’s the worst time for someone confused and upset to try and figure out who’s at blame. Sometimes it’s not cut and dry, while other times, the guilt is obvious.
Here’s how blame gets assigned in a car accident.
Type of Accident
Sometimes the type of accident itself is enough to close the case. Fender benders, or when a car gets bumped from behind, are often the fault of the vehicle in the back. There are going to be times when this isn’t the case, for example, if the car in front is backing up, or the first car pulls out onto a road without enough time to accelerate and go. All of this will get looked at on the scene.
What evidence is there at the scene? Take pictures of everything, including any car parts that get knocked off or shattered. If you’re injured, seek medical help first- but ensure that someone can take photos for you. These photos will help show what happened at the accident better than some witness accounts.
Who Violated Traffic Law?
Was one of the drivers going 20 miles over the speed limit? Did one of you run a red light or stop sign? The court will usually side with the person who wasn’t breaking the law since they, in good faith, couldn’t have seen the crash coming.
Witnesses are vital to any injury case. When you’re looking for a St. Louis car accident lawyer, one of the first questions they’ll ask is if there are any witnesses. Witnesses are capable of saying what they saw from outside of the vehicles, and who they think there is to blame. Of course, some witnesses may have misread situations or scenes, but the information they share is helpful.
Citations from Police
Did the police on the scene give either of you a ticket? Even though cops aren’t the judge or jury, they often get to scenes while still fresh and unedited. This timing means there’s no bias; they have to make sure everyone is okay and will issue a ticket where it’s due.
Injuries can sometimes tell the story of an accident better than cars can. If the driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt or was leaned over looking at their phone, specific injuries will occur. These can show if someone was reckless or lied about the accident to cover their actions.
Admitting Blame At Accident
The worst legal thing you can do at a car accident if it’s not your fault is to apologize. Admitting blame like this can tint your whole case, and possibly make the outcome one you can’t afford and don’t deserve. Watch your words carefully; you can be kind and make sure everyone’s okay- don’t apologize for anything you didn’t do.