Proving Fault in Car Accidents
Who was at fault in your car accident? Sometimes the answer is clear, but other times, the answer isn't so clear. Proving fault can become a complex task that only an experienced car accident attorney in New Hampshire can handle. It takes insight and resources.
If you have been in a vehicle accident in New Hampshire, contact Tenn And Tenn, PA. Our attorneys combined experience, collaborative approach, and thoughtful analysis of each car accident case renders us in an excellent position to identify fault and provide quality, comprehensive legal representation in your car accident personal injury or wrongful death case.How do You Prove Fault in New Hampshire Car Accident Cases?
Proving who is at fault in your New Hampshire car accident case can be easy or can be complex. Fault can be complicated due to the nature of the accident and the factors that contributed to it, including things like:
- personal distractions
- environmental conditions
- traffic conditions
- road conditions
- vehicle conditions
- overall manner in which the accident occurred.
Fault also does not always rest with one person, but multiple persons or entities can be at fault, including:
- other motorists
- truck drivers
- auto repair persons
- truck owners
- anyone on or near the road at the time of the accident
- anyone who dealt with the vehicle either by repairing it (but failing to do so) or handling it in some other way (that caused the vehicle to malfunction).
Finding and proving fault is important because it indicates who may be liable for any economic and non-economic damages, especially when the accident involved a serious bodily injury.Evidence to Prove Fault
In car accident cases, you need evidence – and as much as you can get – to prove fault. Evidence will help explain and show how the accident occurred.
The following are examples of evidence we will collect and analyze in your case to demonstrate how the other driver was at fault.
Police Reports. Police reports explain what happened according to the perspective of the police. Though these reports are not the complete answer and can be challenged, they still hold a lot of weight, especially if the police filed charges or indicated who or what they believe caused the accident.
Criminal Convictions. Should the other driver be convicted of something like drunk driving or reckless speeding, then that can be used in your case as evidence.
Photographs. Photographs are always important. They can identify the point of impact, debris, and any other relevant visual information.
Phone records. If it's believed the other driver may have been distracted by an electronic device, phone records can be obtained to confirm the same.
Maintenance records. These records can show if the vehicle was maintained and, if so, by whom. These kinds of records will be important in cases where it's believe something went wrong with the vehicle and caused the accident.
Logs. If the other driver is a commercial driver, then logs can be analyzed to indicate how long he or she had been on the road and if he or she is in compliance with the law.
Restaurant receipts. This type of evidence can show if the other driver was drinking at all prior to the accident or, in some cases, can indicate how long the driver had been on the road in cases of drowsy driving.
Dashcam video. Many people have installed dash cam video technology in their vehicles. It may be the case that you, the other driver, or a witness has such video, and if so, it can be used to get a better understanding of what happened.
Accident reconstruction reports. These reports are put together by professionals who use forensic evidence to explain how the accident happened. These reports can be highly influential, providing a comprehensive and data-supported view of what happened.
Eyewitnesses. Many times there are other motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists who witness the accident. They may be able to testify to accusations that the other vehicle sped up quickly, was swerving, or otherwise behaving in a manner that caused the accident.
If the other driver has evidence, it can usually be obtained via a discovery process where attorneys share evidence. If the other party, including the other driver's insurer, is unwilling to share evidence, we at Tenn And Tenn, PA will proceed via legal processes to obtain the information.
It's important to obtain all available evidence. In some cases, you may also be at fault. We need to identify that as well so we can be in the best position to defend and argue on your behalf. Insurance companies will do all they can to minimize settlements or avoid it altogether. And in New Hampshire, if the other party successfully proves you were at fault, your award will be reduced accordingly. If the case goes to trial, it is up to the jury to determine what that percentage is.Elements to Prove Liability
Once you know who was at fault and how, we can begin pointing the finger. It could be the driver along with the driver's employer or another entity. For a person or entity to be liable and therefore responsible for your expenses, four key elements must be present:
- Duty of care. The other person must have had a duty of care. For drivers, this duty is inherent in the rules of the road. All motorists must obey the law and watch out for each other.
- Breach of duty. If a driver does not heed his or her duty of care (for example, by speeding), then he or she breached that duty.
- Injuries. You must have sustained an injury that was directly and proximately caused by the other person's breach of duty of care (for example, due to the other car speeding and hitting your vehicle, you sustained head trauma).
- Damages. Your injuries must be quantifiable in terms of money (for example, you must have medical bills to prove your injury).
By proving fault and ensuring the above four elements are present, you likely have a good case and can expect compensation for your losses.Contact Experienced, Resourceful New Hampshire Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Tenn And Tenn, PA, our attorneys have been representing clients for years in car accident cases. We understand the nuances of these cases. We understand how important it is to you to identify fault as soon as possible so that negotiations for a settlement can begin. We also understand the want to obtain for you fair and just compensation that takes into account all your damages.
We don't believe in settling just to settle. We believe in getting you what is rightfully yours.
For comprehensive, smart car accident representation today, contact Tenn And Tenn, PA for a free initial consultation.