Establishing who is at fault in a car accident is crucial to determining who is legally liable for the accident and must therefore pay for damages. But the process isn’t always cut and dry, and it can lead to a heated and complicated debate.
If you were involved in a car accident and believe someone else was at fault, contact a car accident lawyer. At Brylak Law, we have extensive experience helping our clients prove fault and hold the responsible parties liable for their injuries. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Why Does Fault Matter?
The person who is at fault is responsible for paying for damages they caused. In reality, their insurance company will likely compensate anyone who suffered losses due to the actions of the at fault person. Thus, a person who was driving may be at fault, but their insurance company may pay for damages. Both of them are legally liable for your losses.
What if multiple parties are liable for the accident? In that case, it will be important to determine to what extent each party was at fault. That’s because each party will only be liable for the damages they caused.
How Courts Determine Fault in a Car Accident
You must have evidence to prove fault. This may include pictures of the scene, eyewitness testimony, video camera footage, or a police report. Sometimes an expert witness must recreate the accident to prove fault.
In a car accident lawsuit, the court will determine fault by assessing whose negligent behavior caused the accident. Negligent behavior is that which exhibits actions that were not reasonable under the circumstances. For example, if someone was texting while driving, didn’t see a stop sign, and then rear-ended you, then their actions were negligent.
What If I Was Partially at Fault in a Car Accident?
It is possible that more than one person is at fault in a car accident. In fact, if there were two drivers, both of them may be partially at fault. If there were more than two drivers involved, multiple people may share the fault. In this situation, the court will look at comparative fault. This means that the victim of a car accident may have been at fault to some degree.
Texas uses a modified comparative fault rule, meaning that victims can still recover some compensation even if they were partially at fault. However, if the victim is 51% or more at fault, then they cannot recover damages. Instead, if they are 50% or less at fault, they can recover a portion of their damages. If they were only 10% at fault, then their final compensation will be reduced by 10%. Thus, if the victim had $100,000 in damages, but was 10% at fault, then they can recover $90,000 from the other at fault party.
What If One Driver Was Doing Something Illegal?
If one of the drivers involved in a car accident was doing something illegal, they may get a ticket when the police arrive at the scene. Their illegal activity may be evidence of negligence.
In a lawsuit, the judge or jury may take into account prior accidents when deciding fault. For example, if the accused party has a prior traffic citation, this may help to convince them that they were the negligent party.
It’s always a good idea to call the police when you are in a car accident. This can allow the officer to assess the scene and write a ticket, if necessary. The report generated by a police officer can be used as evidence regarding who is at fault.
Speak to a San Antonio TX Car Accident Attorney to Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident
Fault in a car accident can be difficult to determine. It’s best to work with an experienced car accident attorney who can assess your situation, gather evidence, and help you file a claim. Contact Brylak Law today.