How To Tell If a Car Accident is Your Fault
The state of Nevada had almost enough registered vehicles at the end of 2020 for there to be one for every man, woman, and child who lives in the Silver State. With so many people on Nevada’s roads and highways, accidents aren’t uncommon. State statistics show they happen on average about 140 times per day.
When accidents happen, the law prescribes a process for assessing accountability so that those who cause the accidents bear the cost of the damages. But determining responsibility represents a challenging task. Often people wonder: How do you tell if a car accident is your fault?
As the old saying goes, every story has two sides and sometimes more. Determining fault is sometimes a subjective process that involves many variables, and often the determination gets sorted out in court and maybe even by a jury. The personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group, based in Las Vegas with offices in California and Texas, have put together this overview to help you understand the process.
How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?
Sometimes in a car accident, it seems obvious who is at fault. Take, for example, a rear-end accident. If you’ve driven into the rear end of another car, it’s hard to hide that fact. Of course, what’s on the surface only sometimes tells the whole story. So, determining fault can be a complicated process that involves the voices of many parties, including police, insurance company adjusters, and judges or juries. You can even sort out a fault with the other driver involved in an accident.
The initial indication comes from responding police officers, who evaluate the circumstances of an accident, intending to decide if someone violated traffic laws or committed other offenses in connection with the accident. This usually involves using investigatory methods to establish, for example, how fast someone was going on the road. Statements from witnesses also have a bearing on determining fault.
Insurance companies may also do their own investigating, even though it may not carry the force of law. Insurance investigations require gathering police reports or other documents, conducting interviews with the principals or other witnesses, and even visiting the scene to make first-hand observations about what may have happened leading up to the accident.
Many states recognize that the causes of accidents can be multifaceted, and fault doesn’t fall on one party alone. They allow for the use of comparative negligence, where some percentage of blame gets assigned to multiple parties, and compensation for that accident is apportioned accordingly.
Even if the law enforcement and insurance investigations render a definitive fault determination, you can still take the matter to court as a lawsuit. The outcome of legal proceedings represents the ultimate determination of who is at fault.
Consequences of Fault
Car accidents happen regularly in Nevada, as well as in other states. You won’t face social ostracization if you’re determined to be at fault. What you can expect are a series of potential financial consequences.
For instance, you may be held legally responsible for the damages caused in the accident or the injuries the other driver and their passengers suffered. You may also end up with higher insurance rates or other legal consequences, such as a suspension of your driver’s license. In many accidents, particularly those that involve injury, it helps to have a car accident lawyer on your side.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Determining who is at fault in a car accident is just one of the ways your car accident lawyer can help. Experienced car accident attorneys supply their experience and knowledge about the legal process and the law, as well as emotional and practical support to help you and your family through a difficult time. Their ultimate goal is to help you obtain compensation for damages suffered in the accident and protect your rights in any claims against you. Here are some of the ways car accident attorneys can help:
The first and most important question in a car accident case is: What happened? It isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Your car accident attorney will first want to collect evidence surrounding the circumstances of the accident. This will include police reports, witness statements, and medical records. The firm’s representatives may seek to interview witnesses and seek to line up experts who can provide an objective framework for your accounting of the facts.
The aftermath of a car accident doesn’t always lead to a lawsuit. Insurance companies will often seek to reach a settlement that gives them certainty, in contrast to facing a judge or a jury. Insurance companies sometimes try to lock you into a settlement quickly after an accident. Let your attorney handle the negotiations for you so you can concentrate on feeling better.
A car accident attorney can guide you through what, for most people, is a complex process. They can explain the law and legal precedents and help you understand your legal rights while guiding you to a legal strategy to help you get what you deserve. Advocacy also involves ensuring the proper papers are filed at the right time. It’s easier to let an attorney manage such things as filing deadlines, drafting legal documents, and filling out and filing the insurance paperwork.
The ramifications of a car accident can be extremely unsettling and the process of obtaining compensation unnerving. In addition to guiding you through the litigation, a car accident attorney can help direct you to non-legal resources to speed your recovery.
Trust the Car Accident Attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group
Having a personal injury lawyer from De Castroverde Law Group on your side can ease your mind. At De Castroverde, our attorneys and staff are ready to fight for your rights, whether you’re seeking damages or are fighting back against a determination of fault. You deserve a lot from your attorney, and at De Castoverde, you can expect excellent service, top-notch communication, and aggressive advocacy.
Our team has extensive experience in all forms of personal injury law, especially the full spectrum of vehicle accidents, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. We’re on your side. Contact us online or call us today for an immediate appointment.
Photo Credit: car-accident-claims4 by orangesky3 is licensed with CC BY 2.0