What is car accident liability?

In most vehicle accidents, it is critical to identify the at-fault party for both civil and criminal actions. Although some accidents in Tennessee provide a fairly obvious picture of what occurred, others are a bit murkier. Further, proving that you were not liable — and the other person was — can require a significant amount of official information about the auto accident. Protect yourself from unfair allegations by bolstering your case with the following types of official documentation.

One of the most helpful documents available to car accident victims is the police report. Officers do not always arrive at the scene of an accident. However, if they do, they will probably have to take down an official record of the accident. Both injury and non-injury accidents can have accident reports filed. Make sure that you find out how to obtain a copy of that report before the officer leaves the scene.

Officers do not always arrive to assist at accidents, however; in some poorly staffed communities, it is up to those involved to report the crash to law enforcement. Investigators may interview those involved and conduct additional inquiries. A report can still be issued that resembles that from an officer that was actually at the scene.

Police reports, copies of state traffic laws and other documentation can help determine who was at fault for the car accident. Insurance companies recognize that there are a few types of accidents in which liability is fairly straightforward; for example, the classic case of the rear-ended driver. One vehicle’s front end is damaged, the other’s rear end is damaged, and we are all fairly confident about what occurred. Left-turn collisions are also listed among those cases that insurance companies are quick to settle. No matter the nature of your accident, you should know your legal rights in court. Come prepared with the required documentation, and you will be far more likely to experience a favorable outcome in civil court.

Source: FindLaw, “Car Accident Liability: Proving Fault in a Car Crash” Aug. 12, 2014