Determining fault and liability is one of the most important aspects of making sure that you receive compensation for the injuries and damages you may have sustained in a Brockton car accident. However, proving fault can be a challenge for plaintiffs who have the burden of proof in a personal injury case, which means they must show evidence that the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing caused their injuries.
Often, other drivers may not be honest about what happened because they are fearful of the consequences. A car accident can be costly for the at-fault party especially when someone suffers serious or fatal injuries. In such cases, where there are heavy losses, it is especially important to assign fault because as the victim, you should not have to bear the burden of financial expenses and other losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, an experienced Brockton car accident lawyer can help determine the facts, fight for your rights and maximize your compensation.
Tools That Help Determine Fault
There are a number of tools and pieces of evidence, which can be utilized to tell who is at fault after a car accident:
Images from the scene: Photos, videos and surveillance images from the scene of the crash can help tell the story of what happened, including who was at fault for a crash. With the advent of smartphones, almost everyone has the ability – whether they are drivers, passengers or eyewitnesses – to take photos and videos of a car accident. Some vehicles are even equipped with dashboard cameras, or dash cams, that can capture the accident in real time.
Examples of photos from the scene that could be helpful include tire marks (skid marks) that might reveal whether or not the driver slammed on their brakes before the collision; empty bottles or cans of beer that might point to alcohol or drug use suggesting that the driver was under the influence; or surveillance camera videos that capture the accident in real time.
Damage to the vehicles: In many cases, insurance adjusters, investigators and police officers will also thoroughly examine vehicle damage and the location of the damage to determine who was at fault. Sometimes, damage clearly demonstrates fault. For example, when a distracted driver who is not paying attention to vehicles ahead strikes the car in front causing a rear-end collision, the damage to the vehicle can clearly tell what happened and who was at fault.
Other times, the fault may not be as obvious, but the location of the damage can help. For example, when a driver runs a red light and strikes another vehicle, the location of the damage can help determine who was at fault. In other words, the location of the damage can tell us about who ran the red light and struck whom. Some times, rust patterns and paint transfers to other vehicles can also help determine fault.
Statements from eyewitnesses: The testimony of someone other than those involved who saw the crash can be extremely powerful in a car accident case. This is why it is critical to get contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the crash. However, it is also important to remember that not all eyewitnesses are equal. For example, if a witness was under the influence at the time, he or she may not be credible.
Data from event data recorders: A majority of cars these days come with an event data recorder or EDR that records information much like an aircraft’s black box. These recorders are federally mandated in all passenger cars and trucks. The recorders capture information leading up to an accident, as well as during and after an accident. Examples of useful information found in an EDR include whether the driver and passenger were wearing seatbelts, whether the airbag deployed, if the driver applied the brakes, etc.
Accident reconstruction: Police departments, insurance companies and law firms sometimes rely on accident reconstruction experts to determine fault in a car accident. This is fairly common in major accidents where multiple vehicles, victims and fatalities may be involved. Such expert analysis, in addition to determining fault, could also be extremely valuable in a car accident case.
Contacting an Experienced Brockton Car Accident Lawyer
Determining fault and liability in a car accident can be challenging because of the complexities and multiple moving parts in such cases. If you suffered serious injuries in a crash, it is important that you contact an experienced Brockton car accident lawyer who has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate your case and build a strong case so you get the maximum compensation for your damages and losses. Call d’Oliveira & Associates at (800) 992-6878 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.