In any accident, the first question that comes to mind is who is at fault. This is mainly because the at-fault or liable party is responsible for the costs that the other party may incur due to the accident. This can include medical expenses, bills from doctors and therapists, visits to a specialist, property damage, etc. Based on the severity of your injuries, you may also be eligible to receive punitive compensation, and this is why it is important that you solicit the help of a car accident lawyer in Macon soon after a car crash.
It is not uncommon for individuals who sustain physical or financial injuries due to a collision to demand compensation for the injuries and any wages lost and for the pain and suffering they experience due to the accident-related injury. Thankfully, the at-fault party’s insurance company will cover the expenses caused by the accident. However, the person found to be at fault might see a steep increase in their auto insurance policy and be deemed a high-risk driver.
So, what should you do if you are in an accident? Read on for more.
Before you can prove fault in your car accident, it is important to research the traffic laws for your municipality, county, and state. First, walk into your neighborhood DMV and request their handbook that covers basic traffic rules. You may also find this information on court and state government websites. Public libraries will also have books on the actual state statutes regarding traffic laws. Go through these to find the specific laws that could impact your case. For instance, traffic laws in your state may indicate how many feet a car should be from the car that is right in front of it. In addition, certain rules may indicate liability due to negligence, such as having a brake light that was out.
Yet another source to find out who is at fault is to use police reports. Police are expected to go to an accident scene and make an incident report regarding the accident. Certain reports might have the opinion of the police as to who is at fault. The report may also indicate evidence such as the length of the skid marks found on the road and if either of the parties were cited for the accident for violating a traffic law. Additionally, if either party was booked for DUI, you are likely to find that in the report too. Be sure to get a copy of the report, as the information you will find in it can help your car accident lawyer in Macon determine fault.
Aside from the pointers mentioned above, you must take a few steps to determine who is liable for an accident.
STEP 1: Do Not Admit Fault at the Scene
An accident can be a nightmare, and we understand that you could be shaken. However, it is important to remember not to admit fault at the scene, no matter what is your opinion. While exchanging insurance information with the other party or filing an accident report with the police, it is important to give the facts just as you remember them. Even if you feel that you could have possibly contributed to the accident, you do not know the factors that led to the accident. The accident could have well been caused by an occurrence unknown to you. Admitting fault at the scene will instantly make you liable for the accident.
STEP 2: Collect Evidence
This is an important step in determining who is at fault. Be sure to take several pictures of the accident scene and both vehicles involved in the crash. If there are onlookers, be sure to take their statements as well as their contact information. The version of events by any witness of the accident can help determine who was really at fault.
STEP 3: File a Police Report
An accident is by no means something anyone wants to be in. But, if you, unfortunately, find yourself in a car crash, be sure to file a police report as soon as you can gather your wits. The police report is an important piece of documentation that insurance companies will use to determine liability. Remember, both the insurance companies do not want to take the onus of the costs of the accident, and hence the police report can act as a neutral resource to help determine what caused the accident. This report must be reviewed in depth by both parties to get a clear understanding of what transpired in those tense moments leading to the accident.
STEP 4: Document Driving Conditions
Aside from taking pictures of the accident site, also scour the surrounding areas. Be conscientious of stop signs, no-turn signs, school zones, speed limits that should have been present at the time of your accident. Also, try to remember small facts such as whether or not the car ahead of you had its turn signal on while turning for not doing so may have inadvertently caused the accident. Being able to prove that the turn signal was not flashing at the time of the accident may be all you need to establish fault.
STEP 5: Solicit Legal Advice
Establishing fault is not easy. And it is not uncommon for accident victims to find themselves overwhelmed and unsure what their next steps should be. An experienced car accident lawyer in Macon can help you when you are unsure as to how liability for your car accident could affect your recovery and defense. When you hire a car accident lawyer in Macon, GA, he will build your defense and work with the at-fault party’s insurance company to receive the maximum compensation that you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, waste no time. Contact a reliable and experienced car accident attorney in Macon to represent your case. The Hurt 911 Injury Group has helped thousands of car accident victims receive rightful compensation. Call us today at 1-800-522-2277 for a free consultation