How do I Prove Fault After a Car Accident?

Auto Accident Lawyer Atlanta, GA

How do I Prove Fault After a Car AccidentOne of the top reasons to hire an auto accident lawyer after you’ve been involved in a collision is because you may be entitled to financial damages — but you’ll likely need to prove fault in order to do so. Proving that you were not responsible for causing the accident, or that another party holds the majority of the responsibility, is one of the most important parts of an accident claim.

Fault vs. No-Fault States

First, you’ll need to know if you live in a fault state or a no-fault state. In no-fault states, your own insurance company is responsible for paying your claim regardless of whether you were at fault or not. You likely won’t be dealing with another party’s insurance company directly. In fault states, you’ll have to file a claim with the insurance company of the responsible party.

In either case, it’s still wise to speak with an auto accident lawyer before filing any paperwork. You’ll likely be required to submit documentation of your injuries and a written testimony of what occurred, at the very least. You may be asked to submit more supporting evidence or an insurance adjuster might contact you to discuss the accident in more detail. An Atlanta GA auto accident lawyer can screen some of these communication efforts and ensure that you aren’t accidentally doing or saying something that would harm your claim.

Proving Negligence

If you live in a fault state, or even if you’re involved in a car accident in a fault state, you might yourself faced with the task of proving negligence. “Negligence” is the legal term that may be used when discussing the process of proving fault. In the legal sense, negligence refers to the concept that someone else had a duty of care towards you and that they failed to fulfill this duty of care, resulting in your injuries.

Supporting Documents for Proving Your Claim

There are some very important documents that can help to support your claim, and the good news is that you probably already have some (if not all) of these documents.

  • Police reports: You likely encountered a police officer at the scene of the accident and they will have created an official accident report. In some cases, when the cause of the accident is clear or when one party admits fault, the police officer will note this in the report.
  • Video or photo evidence: This can be evidence collected from other sources, such as a business’ security camera, or it can be photos and videos that you yourself have taken. There are often many details at the scene of an accident that hint at how the accident occurred. Even if you don’t notice these details immediately following the accident, preserving the scene through photo evidence will allow you, your lawyer, or a forensic analyst to re-examine the scene later on.
  • Medical reports and bills: If you’ve seen a doctor or you sought any medical treatment for your injuries, you might already have some medical documentation or you can request it. These documents can show what you’ve been diagnosed with, any diagnostic tests you’ve received, any prescription drugs you’ve been prescribed, or any recommended treatment plans you’ve been given. All of this information can help substantiate your claim that you’ve been injured — and that the injury was a result of the accident.   

If you have been injured in a crash, contact an auto accident lawyer Atlanta, GA clients recommend from Butler | Tobin to find out what legal options you may have.