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How Do They Determine Fault in a Car Accident?

Car accidents are a stressful event for anyone to go through, even more so when it’s a question of determining who’s at fault. Questions such as “who caused the accident?” and “who will pay for the damages?” can arise, leaving both parties feeling frustrated and confused. It’s a pretty common occurrence, and we thought it’d be useful for our clients to have a better understanding of how fault is determined in a car accident.

Determining Fault

The first step toward determining fault is understanding what it means. Generally speaking, the driver who caused the accident is at fault. However, in many cases, more than one driver can be responsible for an accident. The decision of fault often involves comparing the actions of each driver and determining who was in control at the time of the wreck.

The person checking the Damage parts in car at Elmwood Park, New JerseyThe Police Report

The police report can be a powerful tool when determining fault. When there is a car accident, it is crucial to contact the police to get an accident report. Police officers are trained to investigate accidents and record details about the events leading up to the collision. The report contains valuable information such as the names of the drivers involved, their insurance information, the location and time of the accident, who was present at the scene, and who caused the accident.

Witness Testimony

Another factor that can help determine fault is witness testimony. Witnesses can provide valuable information about the accident, such as whether one of the drivers was speeding, ran a red light, or was distracted. If there is no police report, witness statements can be critical evidence in determining fault. It is essential to get contact information from any witnesses on the scene and share that information with your legal team.

Comparative Negligence

Another factor is what experts describe as comparative negligence. If one driver acted recklessly, the other driver may have had a lesser degree of fault because they were not responsible for most of the accident. In such cases, both parties may share some responsibility for the accident, and it may be necessary to use comparative negligence to determine the degree of fault for each party.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies can also help in determining fault. If both parties involved in the accident carry insurance, the insurance companies will conduct their investigation to see who is at fault. They may use police reports, witness testimony, accident pictures and other types of evidence to determine fault.

Partner with Experienced Attorneys in New Jersey

Determining fault in a car accident can be a complicated process, but it is essential to ensure everyone involved is treated fairly. It can have a significant impact on the outcome of your insurance claim or lawsuit. Suppose you have recently been in a car accident and are unsure who is at fault. In that case, it’s always best to consult with an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process. At Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC, our team of experienced attorneys understands the importance of helping you get the compensation you deserve. We’ve been serving clients throughout New Jersey since 1950 and know the law! Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation.

  • In 2022, a year in which New Jersey courts were basically closed for trials, our firm still settled almost 100 cases for in excess of 8 million dollars.
  • Discuss the firm's 2022 settlements.
  • Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
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