When multiple cars are in a wreck, each driver will likely have a different version of what caused it. And as you’re probably well aware, determining who was at fault for the accident is crucial to your ability to recover compensation. This is because the at fault party is legally responsible for reimbursing the other driver for their losses.
In some cases, the location of damage on the vehicle can help shed light on the circumstances that led to accident. Below, we discuss determining fault by location of damage, as well as what you need to know about proving liability. To learn more, speak to a Vancouver WA car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff today.
The Location of Damage on Each Vehicle Can Tell a Story
When you work with a car accident attorney, they may enlist the help of an accident reconstructionist. This expert can help determine what happened before, during, and after the accident.
The location and severity of damage on each vehicle often indicates which directions the cars were moving, and at what speed. It’s therefore important to view the vehicles as soon as possible after the accident. Your car accident attorney can use the evidence to build your case, proving that you were not to blame for the crash.
When Damage Can Prove Fault
An example of when the location of damage can help in proving fault is in a rear-end collision. A rear-end collision will often leave scrapes and dents on the front of one car and rear of the other. In this case, fault usually falls on the rear driver. The law requires the rear driver to give the front driver enough space to stop safely. If the rear driver didn’t do so and this led to a rear-end accident, then they are at fault for the crash.
When Damage Doesn’t Prove Fault
However, there are situations where determining fault by location of damage isn’t necessarily so cut and dry. When more than two vehicles are involved, or when the vehicle in front drives negligently, the location of damage on each vehicle may not be enough to tell the whole story. For example, let’s say a driver fails to use a turn signal and suddenly slams their brakes and swerves, causing the rear driver to hit them. In that case, the front driver would be at fault for the accident, not the rear driver. But the location of damage on the vehicles wouldn’t be enough to prove that.
Examples of Determining Fault by Location of Damage
If a driver fails to stop at a stop sign and is involved in a T-bone accident, an accident reconstructionist may investigate the vehicles as well as the road where the incident occurred. A T-bone accident would involve damage to the front of one vehicle and damage to the side of another vehicle.
Sideswipe accidents can be particularly difficult to determine fault. However, in many cases, there will be damage to the front driver side of one vehicle. This indicates that the vehicle was in control of the direction in which it was going. The other vehicle may have damage to the middle side or elsewhere on the car. Another example is when one driver is moving forward in a straight line and other car turns in front of them. The damage may indicate which car was at fault.
Head -n collisions can also be difficult when it comes to determining fault. Both cars may have damage to the front of their vehicles. It’s therefore important to look at other evidence, such as witnesses, photographs, or video footage.
Learn More About Determining Fault by Location of Damage
At The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff, we can conduct a full investigation of your case and help assess who should be responsible for your injuries and other losses. To learn more about determining fault by location of damage, and how a car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries, call us today.