Fault After Intersection Car Accident
According to the Federal Highway Administration, each year approximately 17,000 people are killed due to accidents at intersections. Assigning fault isn’t always easy because of the many factors that contribute to accidents at intersections. Unless a police officer has witnessed an accident, they can only assign blame based on the information they gather from the accident scene intersection. So how is fault assigned for an accident?
Determining Who Is At Fault
- Citations or Violations – You can determine a great deal from the citations and violations that were issued at the car accident scene. Was one or more of the drivers speeding or driving recklessly? Did they run a stop sign or red light at an intersection, or were there any other violations issued by the police?
- Police Report – The police report provides an impartial view of the car accident, based on the information collected at the car accident scene. What does the accident report say? Who is assigned blame for the accident? Is the car accident report accurate, and if not how do you get it corrected?
- Physical Evidence – If you look hard enough, the evidence can speak for itself. Persons who have been trained in car accident scene recreation can gather all the evidence and make a fairly accurate prediction of what happened. Skid marks on the road, the placement of broken glass on the pavement, the impact points on the vehicles involved, the extent of damage to the vehicles, among other things, all play a part in the use of physical evidence.
- Photos and Videos – For safety reasons, the crash site can change from the time the car accident occurs until the police arrive. Cars may be moved out of the intersections so that traffic can resume, or injured persons are taken to the hospital. When the police arrive, they have to rely on what they see and remember so they can fill out the police report. Pictures may be taken of the car accident and intersection by not only the police but by bystanders as well. The advent of modern technology has made it possible for many people to own and carry portable video cameras. That technology has made it possible to decipher accident scene information and to readily assign fault in an accident.
- Witness Statements – Bystanders who witness an accident, especially if others corroborate what they saw, make it easier for accident investigators and the police to assign fault.
- Statements Made By Those Involved – Police reports sometimes show that persons involved in car accidents at intersections made statements that point to their guilt. Simple statements such as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” can make a person look like they are at fault, even if they are not. Never say anything that can be misinterpreted as admitting you were responsible for an accident. Stick to the facts when talking about an accident. Better yet, call an attorney for advice before saying anything.
- Negligence – Can be defined as a breach of duty, such as not doing something when you should have, or doing something when you should not have. The result of which includes damage to persons or property. Common examples include: not stopping at a stop sign and hitting someone in the intersection or using your right blinker to advertise a right turn and then turning left in front of another driver and causing an accident.
- Fault – Determining fault in a car accident can be very difficult. Each person involved, with their insurance companies, will most likely try to blame the others. Sometimes, blame and responsibility can be worked out by the insurance companies, while other times it requires the help of a car accident personal injury attorney.
Whether you are a pedestrian hit by a car in an intersection, a motorist who was hit in an intersection by someone else through no fault of your own, or a motorist who is responsible for someone else’s injuries or property damage, you may wish to consult a highly qualified, and experienced car accident personal injury lawyer for help. At M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers we understand what your legal rights are and will follow the best course of action while representing your interests. Please contact us for a free consultation.