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Fault: How is it Determined in a Car Accident Case?

fault determination car accident

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how hard iot is to determine fault. Both drivers point at the other and blame the crash on them. Nobody wants to admit that they had anything to do with it. Part of this has to do with pride. Who wants to admit that they made a mistake and caused a crash? Another part has to do with liability. Nobody is going to admit that they’re liable because then their insurance rates will go through the roof. Thankfully, your personal injury attorney in Macon, Georgia knows how to prove fault. They’ll do whatever they can to get you the compensation you deserve.

Determining fault is a lot harder than people think. Your Macon car accident attorney has to prove that the other driver was negligent. In order to do this, they need to prove each and every element of the offense. Here, we’ll briefly review how negligence works. We’ll also give some examples of how your attorney can show the other party was at fault. Finally, we’ll explain how the concept of comparative negligence works in Georgia and how it can impact your case.

How Will Your Macon Car Accident Attorney Prove Fault in Your Case?

In order to get you damages, your Macon car accident attorney needs to prove negligence. This requires that they demonstrate all four elements of the offense. If they’re able to do this, there’s a good chance you’ll receive compensation for your injuries. If they can’t, your claim may be dismissed. It all depends on the facts of your case. In fact, one of the reasons more than 95% of all personal injury cases settle is because, usually, both drivers contributed somewhat to the crash.

In order to prove fault, your personal injury attorney in Macon, Georgia must demonstrate the following:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care – This is not hard to prove. All drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists. This includes obeying all traffic laws and using common sense while behind the wheel.
  • The defendant breached their duty – Your Macon car accident attorney will also have to prove the defendant breached their duty of care. They can do this using eyewitness testimony. They can also submit copies of any tickets issued to the defendant at the accident scene. For example, if they were cited for drunk driving and arrested, it won’t be hard to prove that they breached their duty.
  • You were injured – You will have to show that you suffered injuries. This includes bodily injury, but it also includes economic losses. Your attorney will have to demonstrate the losses you suffered as a result of the crash.
  • Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach – You need to show that the defendant’s actions actually caused your injuries. It isn’t enough that you have been hurt. You need to connect your injuries to the other driver’s behavior.

As long as you can demonstrate all four of these elements, you should be able to recover damages. The question is, exactly how much of your demand will you be able to get?

What Evidence Can Your Macon Car Accident Attorney Use to Prove Fault?

Your Macon car accident attorney is going to need to submit evidence to prove the above elements. In the weeks or months leading up to your settlement conference, they’ll put together as much information as possible. The goal is to put forth an abundance of evidence, so the defendant is inclined to settle.

Some of the evidence your personal injury attorney in Macon, Georgia will submit to prove fault includes:

  • A copy of the police report
  • Statements made by eyewitnesses
  • Video recordings, pictures, and feeds from red-light cameras
  • Private recordings from other witnesses
  • Dash-cam video
  • Statements made by the drivers
  • Reports from accident reconstruction specialists

The job of your attorney is to put all this evidence into a nice package to present to the court. In the meantime, they’ll work on settling your case. The odds of you needing to put on a case are slim to none since most cases settle long before they go to trial. However, you need to submit this information along with your civil complaint. This way, it’s there for the judge or jury if your case is one of the few that make it to a courtroom.

What if You’re Found to be Partially at Fault?

There’s always a chance you can be found partially at fault in your Macon, Georgia car accident case. It’s hard to ever prove that one driver is 100% at fault. For example, imagine you’re hit from behind by an SUV. They were clearly going above the speed limit when they applied their brakes. However, your brake lights were out and hadn’t been working for months.

The defendant’s lawyer in this case is going to argue that their client wouldn’t have smashed into you had your brake lights been working. Of course, your Macon car accident attorney will argue this isn’t the case. The truth will lie somewhere in the middle. Perhaps they would have stopped sooner had your brake lights come on.

If you’re found to be partially at fault, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you’re found to be 20% at fault, your damages award will be 20% less than you had hoped for. Of course, your case will probably be settled long before trial. Your personal injury attorney in Macon, Georgia will have to negotiate this issue with the defendant’s attorney.

Call and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation Today

If you were hurt in a car crash and feel like you’re in over your head, you’re not alone. All you have to do is call and schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys in Macon. They’ll sit down with you and answer any questions you may have. They’ll also look over what evidence you have.

The initial consultation won’t cost you a thing. Let our staff handle the legal side of things while you focus on getting better.

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Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers

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Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers