What to Do If Your Car Accident Wasn’t Your Fault
It is vital that fault or “negligence” be determined in the case of a car accident. In some cases it may seem obvious, as in a rear-ending accident, but in others it will be a “he said, she said” situation. Proving that you were not at fault in an accident is vital for your driving record and will determine the actions taken by your insurance company. Your best bet is to find a form of official proof to support your claim of innocence. If you are having trouble defending your case, please know that an experienced car accident lawyer will take on the burden of finding proof.
What to do if you are in a car accident that isn’t your fault
If the police came to the scene of your accident there is a good chance that a police report was written. You can obtain a copy of the report by contacting the traffic division of your local police department. If you are lucky, the report will contain an officer’s opinion or a citation for careless or negligent driving about the other party involved.
State Traffic Laws
Also called the vehicle code, each state has specific laws governing the road. You can usually find a condensed copy of these laws at your local department of motor vehicles office or a complete version at a publicl or law library. You will also be able to find this information online in the research area of nolo.com. Look for key words that might apply to your accident such as “left hand turns” or “right of way” and copy the exact wording and statute number to use in your case.
No-doubt liability applies in certain types of accidents and means that the other driver is at fault 99% of the time. You will not have a difficult time proving your case in these circumstances:
Drivers are required to leave an appropriate amount of space between themselves and your vehicle and that means allowing for unexpected or abrupt stops. If the car is unable to stop safely and rams their vehicle into yours then it is considered negligent driving. The damage to both of your vehicles will show that it was a rear-end collision. If, however, your vehicle lacked working tail lights or had engine failure and was not moved off the road, you could be in for a “comparative negligence” case in which you will be asked to shoulder some of the blame.
In almost every case, a car making a left hand turn that causes a collision into an oncoming vehicle will be held liable. The rare and hard to prove exceptions to this rule include the car going straight driving well over the speed limit or running a red light. If your accident involved one of these exceptions, you may need to seek the help of a car accident attorney to help prove your case.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!