How Is Car Accident Fault Determined?
At the current time, 12 of the 50 United States offer some form of no-fault auto insurance. Unfortunately for Las Vegas residents, Nevada is not one of them. Instead, it joins the rest of the pack in subscribing to the so-called fault system of assigning liability for a car accident. This means that the person responsible for having caused the automobile accident is also legally bound to compensate any victims for injuries and damages sustained. That’s why it is crucial to correctly identify the guilty party, and that may not always be easy and why you need a personal injury attorney on your side.
The Facts of the Car Accident
Following any car accident, determining blame will become much easier if the parties involved succeed in gathering every piece of evidence they possibly can. This will consist of such elements as:
- Police reports. Whether law enforcement has attended the scene of your accident or you’ve reported it in person at your local precinct, be sure to obtain a copy of the police report. In the eyes of your insurance company, this could be the most significant evidence of all.
- Eyewitness statements. If one or more bystanders happened to see your accident as it happened, you can count yourself seriously lucky. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable information from an objective point of view, but you’ve got to catch them quickly before they leave the scene.
- Traffic tickets pertaining to the wreck. If either party to the accident walked away from the scene with one or more traffic citations, that person might have some explaining to do.
- Photos of the accident scene. Every the most basic cellphone contains some sort of camera. Be sure to take advantage of this and record the wreckage from every possible angle.
- The state vehicular code. Did your accident stem from someone’s failure to follow the rules of the road? In case you’re not sure, the Department of Motor Vehicles can supply you with a listing of your local traffic laws.
- The condition of the cars. The pattern of damage to both vehicles will often tell the tale, especially if eyewitness statements and police report data back up your allegations.
- Data from the black box. They’re not just for airplanes any more. Many newer model cars carry some sort of event data recorder. While they travel along quietly under ordinary conditions, these devices come to life if you happen to swerve suddenly, slam on the brakes or hit another object with sufficient force to precipitate airbag deployment. That’s when the EDR will kick into action, and the things it records should tell a provocative tale.
How to Act After a Car Accident
After any sort of vehicular mishap, it can be hard to stay calm. Unfortunately, unless you keep on top of your nerves, you could find yourself making some needless mistakes. Regardless of how upset you are, here are some things to remember:
- Get out of your vehicle if it’s safe. At times like these, your car may not be the safest location. You’ll be better off standing at the roadside out of traffic.
- Never make excuses or say you’re sorry. These things are almost the same as admitting to guilt. Don’t say things like, “I was late for work, so I was in a rush”.
- Before leaving the scene, be sure to notify your insurance company as well as the police. You might prefer to skip this step and settle on the spot, but that is never a good idea. The damages could be worse than you originally thought, and despite the other driver’s promise to reimburse you, there’s a good chance that you will never hear from him again.
- Keep some things to yourself. When dealing with the other driver, the only things you need to reveal are your name and address, your phone number, your insurance information and your vehicle’s identifying characteristics. It’s a wacky world out there, and if you volunteer excessive information, you’re putting yourself in danger of identity theft.
If you feel unsure at any time, just ask a police office or your insurer’s hotline to walk you through and prompt you on what to do and say.
How Weiner Law Group Can Help
If you’ve had a car accident, don’t try to go it alone. The attorneys at Weiner Law Group will not only assist you in gathering the evidence but also prepare the case for settlement and file a lawsuit if it should come to that. After we have determined fault in your case, we will fight to obtain the financial compensation to which you are entitled. Call Weiner Law today at 702-202-0500 for additional information.