Schemery Zicolello

Proving fault after a car accident

A car accident can seem to happen out of nowhere. However, while the accident happens in an instant, the road to recovery is a much longer.

Immediately following a car accident, people need to take care of their immediate needs. They need to consult with medical professionals to make sure there are no immediate health concerns that need to be treated. This initial exam can include medical tests, surgeries and other treatments.

After taking care of any necessary medical needs, it is often prudent to turn to the task of determining liability for the accident. This means determining who, or what, caused the car accident. In order to recover damages from the accident, a person must prove that the other driver was negligent. This is done by examining the evidence that is present in the case.

The first place to look is the police report. In the police report, an officer who studied the accident will write down any observations from the accident scene. This can include physical evidence from the accident -- such as skid marks, for example. It can also include statements from witnesses or other observations that the officer made at the scene. This report is often one of the most important pieces of evidence when determining liability.

Another place to look in order when determining who was at fault in an accident is the type of accident that occurred. For example, if the accident was a rear-end accident, the car in the back is almost always responsible. Also, an accident involving a commercial truck involves unique laws that need to be considered.

Finally, people need to look to Pennsylvania's traffic laws. These laws will clearly spell out the type of conduct that is not allowed on local roadways. If these laws were broken, then a driver was likely negligent and responsible for the accident.

Determining fault after an accident is often easier said than done. Evidence needs to be gathered and analyzed in order for victims to see justice. Often an attorney can help in this process.

Source: Findlaw, "Car Accident Liability: Proving Fault in a Car Crash," accessed Sept. 6, 2015

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