If you’ve been in an auto accident, then you could have trouble being able to see who was at fault, and so getting in your claim for damages could be difficult. If you want some advice, you’re in the right place. This local PI law firm can help you know what to look for and what to do, should the worst happen and you’re in an accident.
Step One: Check Your Local Traffic Laws
The first thing you need to do is check whether any traffic laws have been violated. If police have already been to the scene of the accident, they may have already issued citations. If that’s the case, the driver who has received citations is usually deemed to be at fault. If the police aren’t there, make a judgement call yourself whether yourself or the other driver have violated any traffic laws.
Be sure to check the laws if you’re in a different state, as they can differ depending on which state you’re in. Remember, you should always call the police whenever you’ve had an accident, as they need to attend the scene.
Step Two: Collect Evidence From The Accident
Your insurance company, the police, and your personal injury law firm will need evidence if you decide to make a claim after an accident. That’s why it’s so crucial to collect evidence at the scene. Several different types of evidence can be used, so the more the better. These can include:
- Witness statements: These aren’t often considered the most reliable types of evidence, but if several witnesses say the same thing it can help your case.
- Photos of the scene in order to establish the extent of the damage.
- Police reports, often made after the accident has occurred.
- Video footage, either from passerby or from public cameras.
- Physical evidence, such as skid marks or the damage caused in the accident.
Step Three: Rear End Collision Or Left Hand Turn Collision?
The difference between these two is important. If a car is hit from behind, then it’s usually the rear driver who’s at fault. If you were hit in a left hand turn, the driver making the turn is often seen to be at fault.
These aren’t always the case, but they are a good rule of thumb. For example, if a driver slams on their brakes without justification, it’s their fault if the driver behind them rear ends them, as they couldn’t have been prepared for that to happen.
Step Four: Take Note Of The Other Driver’s Comments
What the other driver says right after the accident can go a long way towards proving fault one way or the other. Be sure to record what they say. If they say something like ‘I’m sorry for hitting you’ or ‘I didn’t see you there’, they can often be assigned fault. This is especially useful for personal injury attorneys, as they can then start building a case for you if you were injured in the accident.
Step Five: Determine If You Live In A No Fault Insurance State
Where you live may determine how fault is assigned by your insurance company. If you live in one of the following states, then each insurance company is liable for covering the damages made to their client’s car:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Step Six: Determine If You Live In A Pure Contributory Negligence State
In some states, even if an injured party was even slightly responsible for the accident, then they cannot receive any compensation for their injuries. This is important to know if you have become injured, as it may impact you financially. The states that implement this law are:
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
Step Seven: Determine If Your State Has Pure Comparative Fault Statutes
In these states, if you’ve received injuries in the accident, then the damages you receive will be calculated according to the degree you were at fault for the accident. The states that have these statutes include:
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured
If you were injured in your accident, then you should speak to PI attorneys Fort Lauderdale. They can decide whether you were responsible or not for your injuries, and whether you can claim for compensation. If you need help, get in touch with us at Florida Injury Lawyers. We can get you all the help you need, when you need it the most.