How Fault is Determined in a Car Accident
June 24, 2019
One of the most important parts of a car accident case is determining who is at fault for the crash. This can be difficult in the most tragic of crashes where both drivers fall into comas or die as a result of their injuries. Drivers who can be held liable for an accident include one vehicle, both vehicles involved, multiple vehicles or even not a driver but instead a vehicle manufacturer. When fault is determined it helps the outcome of a case where a claim has been filed. It’s not uncommon for drivers to disagree with who is at fault in a crash, but the following ideals will need to be applied when determining fault.
Why is it Important for Fault to be Determined?
This is an important question that everyone should understand. Fault is important and must be determined because it pins the legal liability on one or more drivers. The driver found to be at fault in the crash will be responsible for paying medical expenses, repair costs, and other costs associated with the crash, including lost wages of the injured driver.
The Process of Determining Car Accident Fault
The process of determining fault begins in earnest with the actual accident itself. But the process really gets going when an insurance claim is filed by the driver injured in the crash. The adjuster assigned to the claim will be tasked with reviewing evidence from the crash scene, witness testimony, police reports and video evidence, if available. The adjuster will need to determine if their client was the driver at fault in the crash, if it was the other driver who was at fault, or if both drivers had some share of fault in the crash.
The Traffic Laws
A great way to determine fault in a New Jersey car accident is to review the traffic laws of the state. The review of local and state laws can make it much easier when determining fault in a car accident. For example, the adjuster can review the rules for merging, when a vehicle is supposed to reduce its speed, how vehicles are to navigate a roundabout, how vehicles are to yield to pedestrians and many other laws. It’s likely that the adjuster assigned to the case will be able to find a law that was violated by one or both drivers, making it clear who was at fault.
The Police Report
The police report is incredibly vital to determining fault in a car accident case. The report filed by the responding officer might be able to tell a descriptive picture of the crash and which driver was to blame. If one driver was issued a ticket or summons and the other driver was not, this might be able to prove who was at fault. The police report might also include witness statements from the crash scene, including statements provided by all drivers involved. Fault can be gleaned from statements given by drivers if you look closely at what was said.
Contact a Morristown Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, PC represent clients injured because of personal injury in Morristown, New Brunswick, Dover, Randolph, and throughout New Jersey. Call 973-292-0274 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 East Park Place, 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960 as well as an office in New Brunswick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.