Determining who is liable for the injuries and property damage that has occurred due to an auto accident isn't always as simple as one would like to believe. Not only is this a complex and frustrating process, but you are probably more concerned with your own recovery after an auto accident to even begin thinking about who was most at fault.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know exactly what questions to ask and how to proceed with the investigation of your accident, but it will be helpful for you to have a basic understanding of what they are looking for.
One of the first things you should know is that liability does not always have to fall on one of the drivers at the scene of the accident. For example, if the accident was caused by a vehicle defect, the manufacturer may be held liable. There is also a possibility that there are multiple liable parties. If you're dealing with a case of impaired or distracted driving, things are usually not quite so complex. Many cases, however, require you to look a bit deeper.
One of the biggest factors to consider is whether or not there was an error (intentional or not) made by the other driver, such as disobeying traffic signals or road signs, speeding, reckless/careless/aggressive driving, or some other obvious type of misconduct or negligence. Unfortunately, in most cases, the driver is not very likely to come right out and admit these things, so this becomes one of the objectives of your auto accident investigation.
The investigation may include any combination of the following:
- Inspection of the vehicles involved in the collision
- Review of the police report and other forms of documentation (including photos)
- Interviewing the other driver and any witnesses who may have been present
- Visiting the scene of the accident
- Review of medical records pertaining to injuries sustained during the accident
In almost all cases, your attorney will need to pull in various other experts to ensure that your investigation is as thorough as possible. This is all a very complex process, and you would be doing yourself a terrible disservice by attempting to face all of this alone.
If you've been in an auto accident, contact the skilled and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free initial consultation. Let us handle all of the complexities of determining liability, while you focus on getting well and getting back to doing the things that you enjoy most.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.