When it comes to car accidents in most states, including Georgia, the fault is the most important factor if you’re wanting to seek financial recovery for your damages. The person who was at fault for the accident is liable for the costs of said accident. That means if you want to recover money for your medical expenses, repairs to your vehicle, and more, you must be able to prove the other person caused the accident—not you.
Doing this is often easier said than done. Sometimes it’s clear the other driver caused the accident, but other times, proving fault is more difficult. Here are some areas to consider when proving you were not at fault for your accident.
Look for Violation of State Traffic Laws
If the other driver has clearly broken one or more traffic laws, it’s typically easier to demonstrate that their negligence led to your accident. Examples of this could be them:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failing to yield the right of way
These are clear traffic violations that can lead to accidents. If you’re unsure about a specific violation, you can look up the motor vehicle statutes in your state and use that wording in your claim. You can usually find a shorter version of these laws at DMV offices, and the full vehicle codes are found in law libraries (or often any public library).
It’s best to work with a car accident lawyer for this. They can make sure your verbiage is correct and communicated in the best way.
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Accidents When Fault Is Easier to Prove
Rear-end collisions are another situation where the fault is usually easily determined. In most cases, the rear vehicle is found to be at fault for the accident. So, if you were rear-ended and are worried about proving you weren’t at fault, the law is on your side. This is known as “no doubt liability” because the other driver is at fault 99 percent of the time.
The same goes for accidents that occur after a car makes a left turn. The law typically assumes the person who turned left didn’t allow enough time or space to complete the action, leading to an accident. However, fault can be more ambiguous if the driver traveling straight was speeding or ran a red light because the collision happened.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
If you’re in a car accident that involves physical injuries and/or vehicle damage, you should report it to the police. Call the police and let them know exactly what happened. An officer may come to the scene, and they will create a police report of the accident. If an officer does not come to the scene, you’ll want to go to the local police station as soon as you can to give an account of your story.
This report is important because it includes whether or not the other driver was cited for violating any traffic laws. It may also include notes from the responding officer about their thoughts on the accident. If they believe the driver was at fault, this police report can be extremely valuable in proving liability. Insurance companies are often more likely to pay for damages if there is a police report of the accident.
Picture evidence can be really helpful to your case, especially if it helps you prove the fault of the other driver.
After the accident happens, you can start compiling evidence immediately. Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any vehicle damage. If the other driver is acting aggressive, belligerent, drunk, or showing any other type of suspicious behavior, try to get a video of it.
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Never Apologize or Accept Blame
Right after the accident, you might be tempted to say you’re sorry or the other driver or even admit some fault out of politeness, but refrain from doing this. Any admission of blame could impact your ability to get a full financial recovery for your damages. Be courteous and make sure everyone is okay, but remember that you know where the fault lies.
Avoid saying too much until you can contact a good personal injury lawyer. This also applies if you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. They may try to get some information out of you that can be used against you later. Never admit any fault, and never make a statement or accept any money until you can get a legal professional on your side.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
A good car accident lawyer will know how to build the strongest case when proving you weren’t at fault for your accident. They help you gather the right evidence, research traffic laws, and negotiate with the insurance company if they try to blame you or offer less than you deserve for your damages.
Even in complex accident cases, proving fault may be easier than you think. It just takes a legal professional with the right knowledge and experience. At John Foy & Associates, we bring 20+ years of experience in personal injury case success to the table—and we know what it takes to prove fault and help you win your case. For a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today. Call 404-400-4000, or fill out the form on this page to get started with your free consultation.