Car accidents are scary, confusing, and often leave people wondering what is going to happen next. You don’t put much thought into car accidents until you’re involved in one, and only then do you realize just how little you actually know about this kind of accident. What happens? What do you do when you are hit and get out of the car? Do you stay with your car, move it off the road to prevent traffic from becoming even worse than it is, or do you leave it where it is so you can allow the police who arrive on the scene to get a full picture of the accident? Do you speak to the other driver? What do you do, and who is responsible for figuring out who is at-fault for the accident?
It’s as easy as pointing your finger and saying, “He did it,” correct? The answer is no. It’s not that simple, and it’s rarely done this way. While there are always those drivers pointing the finger and placing the blame elsewhere, you can’t trust those people every single time. Sometimes it’s easy to determine who is at-fault when the driver who caused the accident speaks up and tells the police on the scene of the accident they caused the accident. When no one fesses up and wants to admit they were at fault, however, it’s a bit more complicated. It’s up to others to piece together the accident to find out what happened. It’s not always black and white, but there is a process for determining fault in a car accident.
Finding Fault at the Scene
It’s the best time to determine who caused the accident. The position of the cars, the witnesses who stopped to help, and the fresh memories of the drivers involved in the accident are all right there, and it’s much easier to determine fault with all that present. Often, it takes police who arrive on the scene only a few moments to determine who and how. They can use the position of the cars to figure this out. For example, a car that’s been hit from behind was almost always hit from behind because the driver in the back was following too closely or not paying attention to the road. It doesn’t matter what the driver in front did in a case like this. The person behind him should have plenty of time to slow down even if the front driver slams on his or her brakes.
The same goes for a left-turn accident. It’s almost always caused by the turning driver. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule when a car accident occurs. A driver turning left may have had the right of way when the car going straight ran right through a red light and caused the accident to occur. This is why police on the scene of any accident use both the position of the cars and the statements of the drivers and witnesses present to determine who is at-fault.
Who Proves Fault?
In most cases, it’s the police who arrive on the scene of the accident who prove fault. They examine the evidence and determine who is to blame for the accident. Even if you don’t like their answer, it’s final unless you choose to contest the report and have a secondary accident investigation. This sometimes happens, but it’s not all that common. It might occur when a driver who was hit decides to file a lawsuit against the driver they blame for the accident. Attorneys tend to replicate the scene of the crime to determine there is no way fault can be shifted in the accident, but this doesn’t happen often.
Fault is important in an accident, because it determines much of the financial aspect. The person to blame for the accident becomes responsible for paying for the accident through their insurance or their own personal funds. The person who was the victim gets to have their car repaired thanks to someone else’s insurance, and their rates typically don’t rise. It’s important to find out who is to blame in an accident so the financial aspect of the situation can be handled quickly and efficiently.
If you believe someone else is at fault in a car accident, speak up at the scene of the crime. Remember that anyone who apologizes for the accident or admits fault can be blamed for the entire accident. You want to spend your time carefully listening to the person who was involved in the accident with you, because they might admit to fault even if they don’t realize that’s what they’re doing. This is all the police need to find cause in many cases.