Being involved in a car accident can be a terrifying experience, particularly if you were injured in the incident. In general, car accident victims should be able to receive compensation if another party was at fault for the incident. However, determining who was at fault for a car accident can be challenging, and it might be worth speaking to an attorney. Here, we want to discuss what to do if another party accuses you of being at fault for an accident. How can you prove that you were not at fault?
What do you have to prove to receive compensation for your injuries?
When you are filing an insurance claim against the alleged at-fault driver’s insurance company, you have the burden of proof of establishing your right to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. In order to prove liability in a car accident, you have to show:
- The other driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care on the roadway
- The other driver was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care while driving
- The other driver’s negligence caused the crash
- You sustained monetary losses as a result of the incident
Proving the accident was not your fault
Unfortunately, there are times when at-fault drivers try to shift the blame onto others involved in the incident. There are also times when a fault may not be very clear. There are various reasons why it is crucial for crash victims to prove they did not cause the incident, particularly because California operates under a pure comparative negligence system. This means that any amount of fault shifted onto a victim could result in the victim receiving less compensation than they otherwise would if the other party was determined to be completely at fault.
There are various steps that a person can take at the scene of an accident to help prove that the other driver was at fault. This can include:
- Taking photographs of everything at the scene. Using a phone or another type of camera, a person can take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, road and weather conditions, vehicle positioning, possible causes of the crash, debris, and more.
- Gather eyewitness information. If there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, victims can get their names and contact information so they can give statements to the insurance carriers if needed.
- Exchange contact information with other drivers. It is important to get the name, driver’s license number, and insurance information of other drivers in these situations.
- Make sure the police come to the scene. Just about every vehicle accident in California must be reported to the police. The role of a police officer is crucial in these cases, as they are the ones who will make an initial determination of fault. Police reports are used heavily by insurance carriers in these situations.
An attorney can help you make your case
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in an accident where the fault is disputed, a skilled Newport Beach car accident attorney can help you through this. Attorneys have the resources necessary to fully investigate these claims, obtain the evidence needed to prove viability, and helped negotiate with every party involved. This includes dealing with the aggressive insurance carriers of the other drivers.