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How do people determine fault in a crash when it isn’t clear?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Auto Accidents

Sometimes, accurate allocation of fault for a motor vehicle collision is easy to establish. One of the people involved in the wreck may have done something obviously unsafe or illegal, like choosing to drive after drinking, that clearly renders them the one culpable for the collision because the other driver at issue was driving safely, the roads were otherwise clear and neither vehicle’s integrity was impacted by defective parts or mechanical failure.

Other times, multiple parties may be rightfully assigned some degree of personal responsibility. Perhaps one driver ran a red light, but the other performed a turn without using a signal, which contributed to the poor outcome of the crash. How does someone affected by a New Jersey collision establish fault for the crash when there are questions about who is truly to blame?

Gathering and reviewing evidence

From witness statements about the activities of both drivers prior to the crash to traffic camera footage and mobile phone records, there may be quite a bit of evidence available related to a collision. Those hoping to establish fault may need to carefully review such evidence or secure the support of a professional who can review the evidence on their behalf. Having support may make it easier to collect more evidence, as lawyers could request phone records or camera footage not already reviewed.

Other times, it may be necessary to take the available evidence and evaluate it through a different lens. A crash reconstruction can provide a compelling version of events that could help someone so the other driver was at fault in that they are the one who should have the right to make a liability insurance claim or file a civil lawsuit.

In scenarios where there is evidence that both drivers contributed to the collision, going to court may be necessary. If both drivers blame each other and the evidence shows that each contributed to the crash, the courts can assign each motorist a portion of fault for the crash under the comparative negligence statute. The courts can assign each driver a percentage of the fault and then adjust any personal injury compensation to reflect that percentage of fault.

Understanding the process for establishing fault after a complicated crash might help someone who needs to cover medical expenses and vehicle repair costs. Seeking legal guidance to receive personalized feedback is generally a good place to start.