Proving Fault in a Car Accident

Proving Fault in a Car Accident

In a car accident case, it is vital to determine who was careless (or negligent) in order to figure out who is at fault. In your case, it might seem like common sense who was at fault, but you need to know exactly which laws that person violated to support your opinion. When contacting your insurance company, having official evidence will strengthen your argument to receive the most compensation. When Proving Fault in a Car Accident There are several sources of such support:

Police Reports

If the police were called to the site of your accident, they will probably have written an official accident report. You can ask for a copy of the report from your local law enforcement agency traffic division. The report can include evidence by mentioning citations given or observations of law violations or negligent behavior. No matter how specific or vague the report is, any mention of negligent behavior by another person can help prove fault in your case.

State Traffic Laws

The laws that govern driving, known as the “Vehicle Code”, can be found in each state’s local statutes. The complete code can be found in most libraries. This is a great place to look for evidence to support your case. You can find simplified versions of the code, or “Rules of the Road”, at any local department of motor vehicles office. Use code indices, librarians, and the Internet to help in your search for pertinent laws. When you find a passage that may help your case, take note of the exact wording and the statute number for future reference.

“No-Doubt” Liability

Some types of accidents are known to be the fault of the other driver nearly 100% of the time, so insurance companies rarely bother to argue about them. There are two major categories:


  1. Rear-end collisions. When someone hits your car from behind, it is never your fault, no matter why you stopped. A basic Rule of the Road is that you must always be able to safely stop when traffic stops ahead of you. Another benefit of the rear-end accident is that the physical damage proves it. The rear of your vehicle and the front of the other person’s vehicle will be damaged. However, there are certain circumstances that may reduce your compensation due to “comparative negligence”. For example, if your break lights or tail lights are out or you failed to do all you could to remove your broken car from the road.

  2. Left-turn accidents. The car making a left turn is almost always at fault in an accident case against a car that was going straight from the other direction. The exceptions to this rule are hard to prove, and include the car going straight exceeding the speed limit, driving through a red light. And/or failing to yield the right of way.

If you have suffered a car accident and need help proving fault, you may benefit from the help of a legal team that is experienced in traffic law. If you have any further questions on the subject, contact Grennier Law, PC today at 805-643-3900!