How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident Case
Indiana is a “fault” state, which means that a person injured in a car accident can receive compensation if someone else was to blame for the crash. Other states, like Florida, operate under a “no fault” system. In those states, it doesn’t matter who is to blame, because a motorist can receive money under their insurance policy.
Because Indiana is a fault state, many cases turn on identifying who is to blame for the collision. In some cases, fault is reasonably clear. However, there is often an incentive for motorists to deny that they are to blame, which means this issue ends up in dispute.
Every case is different, but our Indianapolis car accident lawyer provides the following tips for proving fault.
Take Pictures of the Vehicles Involved
Pictures of the scene of the accident help those who weren’t present visualize how the accident unfolded. If a car T-boned you in an intersection, you should take pictures of the side of your car that was hit. Also take pictures of the front of the car that struck you.
Taking pictures is necessary because the other driver might get his car fixed quickly. Pictures create a permanent record.
Technically, a driver is not at fault simply because he hit you. For example, you might have been going through an intersection on a green light when a driver ran a red. Although you T-boned the other driver, he was at fault because he failed to stop. Still, in most cases, the driver who struck you is to blame, and photos help establish how the vehicles impacted.
Eyewitnesses can provide a fuller account of what happened in the moments leading up to a crash. Witnesses could be:
- Passengers in your vehicle
- Occupants of other vehicles
- Bystanders on the sidewalk
- People on bicycles or motorcycles
Write down the names of all witnesses and their contact information. A witness might be able to tell the police that the other driver failed to yield, was swerving, or tried to pass illegally.
Write Down Your Own Memories
You are also a vital witness. As soon as possible, write down what other people say regarding fault and any other information that you are provided.
Also note any statements the driver made. If he apologized or admitted fault, then these statements could be used to your benefit. Even something as simple as the driver admitting, “I couldn’t even see you!” might prove useful.
Call the Police
An officer should come out to the scene and interview people. The office might also make a preliminary determination as to fault. Don’t worry if the officer blames you. His or her opinions are just that—opinions—and are not legally binding.
Hire an Experienced Indianapolis Lawyer to Represent You
The team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP has helped many car accident victims make claims for compensation. We have gone up against most of Indiana’s big insurance companies, and we know how to win.
For help with your case, call our Indianapolis car accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.