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Personal Injury: Car Accidents and Proving Fault

Understanding the factors that determine who is to blame for a car, motorcycle, or bicycle accident can be key in filing your personal injury claims.

As with any type of accident, finding fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was careless or “negligent.” In most cases, common sense will prevail, but it is always important to provide a full, truthful report and know what laws or rules may have been violated in an effort to help your case.

Immediately After an Accident

Breathe and stay calm. Check for injuries and call an ambulance if there is any doubt. If the accident is minor and it is safe to do so, move the cars to a safe place out of traffic. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and use warning triangles to alert other drivers. Call the police, even if the accident is minor. And notify your insurance agent immediately.

Gather Information

Your insurance agency — and your lawyer should you choose to press charges — will need a lot of details in order to process your claim. By keeping a cool head and paying attention to details, you can greatly ease the burden on yourself to return your life to normal. At the scene, do your best to collect the others person’s information, including their driver’s license number, insurance provider and policy number, and occupants in the other vehicle. Gather information about the police. Write down officers’ names and badge numbers and request the report number to help speed the process along after you’ve filed. If there are witnesses, request their information as well. Witness testimonials can help determine accident liability. Also, document damage to the vehicles. If you can, take several pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle involved from several angles. Be sure to take note if the other vehicles were able to drive away from the accident.

Determining Legal Liability

Determining legal responsibility for an accident can be complicated. Often a police report plainly states an officer’s opinion that someone violated a specific traffic law and that violation caused the accident. The report could also mention negligent behavior without implicitly stating fault. Regardless of how specific, any mention in a police report of a traffic law violation or careless driving by another person can serve as support in showing the other party was at fault.

It is important to provide as full and truthful an account of the accident as possible to ensure the greatest compensation in your personal injury claim. There is no formula for arriving at a precise number for a person’s carelessness in an accident. That’s where the Law Office of Andrew Dósa comes in. We work hard to provide you the answer to all your personal injury questions. To learn more visit: http://www.dosalaw.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/

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