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Who’s liable after a car crash, and how do drivers prove fault?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Car Accidents

The aftermath of a Georgia motor vehicle collision could prove prohibitively expensive. Just the cost to repair a vehicle could be thousands of dollars, and buying a replacement vehicle would cost far more than that. If the vehicle occupants suffer injuries, then the cost will go up even more. From ambulance transportation to trauma care, the emergency medical costs associated with a Georgia car crash could easily add up to more than someone’s salary. Then there are lost wages or reduced earning potential to consider.

People often need compensation after a crash, which means they need to file an insurance claim and/or a lawsuit. They usually only have that option when the other driver is at fault for the wreck. How does someone determine who is liable for a wreck?

Liability relates to mistakes and law violations

Drivers in Georgia could be liable for a crash due to a regulatory violation or negligence. Any behavior that is willfully unsafe could constitute negligence. Negligence claims can also arise when someone fails to do what others know is necessary for safety.

Traffic infractions can take on many different forms. Excessive speed is a common violation. So is tailgating or failing to maintain an appropriate following distance behind another vehicle. Police officers consider decisions made in traffic and factors like the condition of vehicles when deciding who is at fault for a crash. The party who is at fault will typically be liable for any harm that results from a collision. Their insurance can compensate the other parties involved. If they do not have enough insurance or do not have insurance at all, then the people affected by the collision may need to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.

How can someone prove who is liable?

The simplest way of proving liability is to ensure a police officer includes all relevant details in the official crash report. Drivers therefore need to be forthcoming with information, including how they saw someone with a phone in their hands moments before the wreck. The more details that someone provides to the police, the easier it will be for officers to deduce who is technically at fault for the collision.

People may also want to preserve evidence from the scene of the crash, such as pictures of the vehicles’ placement, to help establish fault later. Collecting evidence could also involve getting the names and contact information of witnesses or looking for cameras that may have captured the crash or the moments leading up to the wreck. Sometimes, victims need outside assistance to prove who was at fault for the crash. Collision reconstruction can potentially help create a realistic timeline of events and convince the courts or insurance providers of who was to blame for the incident.

Ultimately, understanding how to establish liability and prove fault can both be important for those involved in a Georgia car crash who hope to seek compensation for the harm that they have suffered due to another’s actions or inactions.

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