The most important, and often most difficult, part of any car accident case is determining who is at fault. The good news is, Rogers car accident attorneys know how to make that determination. They understand what evidence needs to be found and how to analyze that evidence to determine who is legally responsible for injuries sustained in a car accident.
What makes it hard to determine fault in a car accident?
As all Rogers car accident lawyers will probably tell you, determining fault can be a complicated task. This is especially true where there are several vehicles and drivers involved. Causation is one very important legal issue in every car accident case. Proving causation requires proving that the defendant’s actions were the “proximate cause” of your injuries. If you cannot give the court a believable theory of causation, then your case will likely be dismissed.
Difficult issues that arise in a three-car accident
Consider, for example, a wrongful death case involving a car accident where three cars are involved. A sedan on a four-lane highway pulls over on the shoulder to make way for an approaching ambulance. A truck is traveling behind the sedan and has to swerve to avoid hitting the sedan as it pulls over. However, the truck is unable to avoid the sedan and they collide. The collision with the sedan forced that vehicle into an SUV traveling in the next lane.
Determining who are the potential defendants in the three-car collision
In the above example, the passengers of the sedan sued both the truck and SUV drivers. With respect to the SUV, the plaintiffs argued that the SUV driver was at fault for trailing too close to the ambulance and not moving over and stopping or slowing down for the ambulance. The argument was that these actions were negligent and resulted in the collision with the sedan. As for the truck driver, the theory of liability was that the driver was “following too closely behind” the sedan.
The claims against the SUV driver were dismissed
Ultimately, the court decided there was no evidence that the actions of the SUV driver caused the first collision between the truck and the sedan, which was the triggering event. Furthermore, the court found it would be nearly impossible for a jury to determine whether the victim’s injuries were the result of the first collision with the truck or the second collision with the SUV.
Rogers car accident attorneys can help determine who to sue
In order to succeed in a car accident lawsuit, you must first determine, and be able to prove, who is at fault. Liability cannot be assigned to anyone until it is determined who caused the accident or whose negligence lead to your injuries. Depending on how serious the car accident was, there could be substantial repair costs and medical bills. The person who is shown to be at fault is the person responsible for reimbursing the victim for their injuries and economic damages.
How to prove fault
Proving fault requires discovering and offering evidence in court. The evidence necessary to accomplish this will usually include photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, eyewitness statements, and police reports. Depending on the legal standard that applies in your state, the fault can be established either by proving beyond a reasonable doubt or through clear and convincing evidence.
Why is determining fault so important?
The issue of fault is the most important element of any lawsuit because, without establishing who is responsible, you cannot recover damages. You must first determine who the person or entity is, otherwise that party could escape financial liability for the accident. If more than one party could be liable, determining who is at fault may mean explaining the degrees of fault for each person or entity. Put another way, each party will only be responsible for the amount of damages that can be attributed to his or her actions.
Who to consider in determining liability
If you have been injured in an accident, determining who is responsible for your injuries can be a challenge. So, discuss your case with your Rogers car accident attorneys. Usually, the most common defendants are the driver of the car, the owner of the car, the person or company that leased the car from the owner and the manufacturer of the car.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Rogers car accident attorneys Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.