How Can You Tell Who Hit Who in a Car Accident?

The most important part of a car accident claim is determining who caused the accident. Finding out who hit who in a car accident case is crucial because the responsible party in a car crash must pay the injured party’s damages. A car accident lawyer can help you prove your case and obtain the maximum settlement possible. To learn more about how you can tell who hit who in a car accident, continue reading.

The facts of the case always determine who hit who in a car accident claim. Some fact-finding methods for proving who hit who in a car accident are as follows:

Pictures

Pictures are truly worth a thousand words, and they can determine fault for a car accident. Pictures and your testimony at trial can help a jury understand what happened. Pictures of your damaged vehicle, including the alleged place of impact, can lead a jury to conclude that one party is responsible for the accident. Additionally, if you and your attorney decide to hire an accident reconstructionist to serve as an expert witness, pictures assist them as they complete their job.

Surveillance Videos of the Scene

You may get lucky, and there is a surveillance video of the accident. If there is a video of the accident, do your best to get a copy of the video. There may be no better proof of who hit who in a car accident than a literal video of the car accident.

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Witnesses to the Accident

While eyewitness testimony cannot always be relied upon because memories fade, if you can find reliable eyewitnesses to the accident, their testimony will help build your case.

Your car accident lawyer will interview witnesses to the accident. During these interviews, your accident attorney will straightforwardly ask what they saw. If you have an eyewitness that can testify about who hit who in the car accident, proving fault may be easier at trial.

Violation of Law by Either DriverWho hit who in a car accident?

If a driver violates the law, it can mean that they caused the accident. Violations of the law can come in the form of running a red light, speeding, distracted driving, fatigued driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or drunk driving.

Anything that causes a driver to take their focus off the task of driving can cause a car accident. A responding officer or an insurance company may probe drivers to determine if a distraction caused the accident.

In addition to them thinking you may have been driving while distracted, they may suspect a driver of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of legal and illegal drugs, and fatigued driving. Fault is easily assigned if an investigator finds that a driver operated their vehicle under any of the above conditions.

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, call a local lawyer. A car accident attorney in your area can help you prove that you suffered an injury because of another driver’s negligence. Do not delay. Contact a car accident lawyer today.

Insurance Company Investigation

You must report a car accident to your insurance company despite which party is at fault. The other driver must also report the accident to their insurance company. Failure to report a car accident may violate your insurance policy. After the insurance company receives the notification of the accident, it will investigate.

During the investigation, the other driver’s insurance company will try to contact you. They may call you and ask for a recorded statement. They may even offer you a settlement offer at the beginning of the case. However, never speak to another driver’s insurance company without first speaking to a car accident lawyer.

Speaking with an insurance company as an unrepresented accident victim, you may say something that locks you into a story that cannot be changed later, especially if they are recording you.

Police Report Made at the Scene

In most states, drivers involved in a car accident must make a police report. Never leave an accident scene before speaking to a police officer and making an accident report. An officer’s accident report will contain their observations, including what caused the accident.

The responding officer will ask each driver what happened. Speak honestly to the officer. The officer will speak to you and the other driver and may ask where you were headed at the time of the accident, which direction you were going, if you ran a red light or traffic sign, or if you were driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The responding officer may also examine the scene. They will observe the roads and look for tire marks in the street that may indicate the speed of the vehicles and whether there were any sudden stops.

Insurance companies rely on police reports to help determine liability. In their report, a police officer will make an initial determination of liability.

Trial Testimony

You may be unable to reach a satisfactory agreement with an insurance company. If you cannot agree, you and your attorney will file a car accident lawsuit.

If you file a lawsuit, a judge or jury will ultimately decide who hit who in a car accident claim. The court will consider various forms of evidence to decide who is at fault. One form of evidence the court considers at trial is witness testimony.

Although civil trials are rare because most car crash cases do not make it to trial, your testimony can make or break your case. Your car accident lawyer will help you understand how to make the most of your time on the witness stand.

Trial advocacy is an art, and each party’s attorney has the training to zealously advocate for their client. The story you tell at trial can make your case succeed or fail. Your car accident lawyer will work with you so that you can tell the best version of your story.

Because trial testimony is so important, your attorney will prep you to testify. Trial preparation includes teaching a witness to tell their story. Testifying may seem straightforward; however, how you tell your story can convince a jury to agree with your side or may persuade them against you.

Examples of trial preparation include:

  • Learning how to control your emotions while on the stand. Although car accidents are traumatic, do not become overly emotional on the stand. While juries respond to genuine emotion, you should not become so emotional that your story is less effective.
  • Knowing how to respond to the opposing attorney’s questions without showing anger or unnecessarily resisting answering the questions that they are asking. It is important not to seem evasive while being questioned by the opposing attorney.
  • To testify effectively, you must listen carefully to the question asked. If you do not listen carefully to the question, you may divulge too much or not enough information. In either situation, you may damage your case.

Expert Witness Testimony

Expert witness testimony is invaluable to most car accident plaintiffs. Expert witness testimony can help an accident victim prove each element of their case. When you want to determine who hit who in a car accident case, you are trying to prove the cause. Causation is one of the four elements you must prove in a car accident case. An accident reconstructionist, for example, can help you prove your case.

You and your car accident lawyer may want to hire a few expert witnesses to help prove your case. Keep in mind that it is difficult for a client that doesn’t have representation to access an expert witness and have the witness testify on their behalf.

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, contact a local car accident attorney immediately.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Prove Who Hit Who in a Car Accident?

Having a car accident attorney working on your behalf puts you in the best position to receive the maximum amount of money on your accident claim. Your attorney will protect your legal rights after a car accident. You do not have to go it alone after a car accident.

A car accident lawyer:

  • Can help you gain access to expert witnesses. An expert witness can help you prove each element of a case. The injuries sustained can help prove who hit who in a car crash. For example, if someone rear-ends you, the fact that your lower back suffered an injury and the other driver suffered no injuries may indicate that they hit you. A physician can help prove that the accident caused your injuries.
  • Knows procedural rules, including what information they can request during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Discovery is the fact-finding stage of a lawsuit. Each state has procedural rules that lawyers must follow regarding what information they can gather. A car accident lawyer can maximize the information collected while complying with state law.
  • Can represent you to an insurance company. A car accident attorney can counter the arguments made by the insurance company because they have experience and anticipate what the insurance company will argue. If you suffered an injury in an accident, call a local car accident lawyer today.

What if I Cannot Afford an Attorney?

If you suffered an injury in a car accident case and you want to pursue litigation, one of your first thoughts may be about the cost of legal services. Many accident victims get nervous about paying an attorney, even if they think they have a solid case. Fortunately, most car accident lawyers across the country work on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee is a payment structure that allows a client to defer payment for legal services until after the case reaches its resolution. You may have heard an advertisement that sounds something like, “We don’t get paid unless you do,” which refers to a contingency fee agreement.

The terms of a contingency fee agreement must be in writing and signed by both the client and the attorney. Examples of terms included in most contingency fee agreements include litigation costs and the percentage of the final settlement that an attorney collects for their work.

Litigation costs are expenses that arise during a lawsuit. Examples of litigation costs include filing fees, payment for expert witness testimony, postage, money for copies, and so on. The attorney and their firm may front litigation costs. If the attorney’s firm prepays litigation costs, the contract will likely state that the client is responsible for reimbursement after the case settles. If the client wishes, they may pay litigation costs as they arise.

Contact an Accident Attorney Today

William Bowles
Bill Bowles, Car Accident Attorney

Pinpointing liability in a car crash case is hard. If you hire an accident attorney, you can benefit from their experience and maximize your compensation. Car accidents and their aftermaths are overwhelming. You need an advocate to work for you. An accident lawyer is your ally in the fight to recover fully. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to get the money you deserve after being injured in a car accident.

August 24, 2022

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