How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

June 29, 2024 Vehicle Wrecks

How do you determine who is at fault in a car accident? After a crash, the most important factor in determining fault is the evidence. However, evidence alone does not determine who is at fault. It is necessary to interpret the evidence through the lens of the law.

How Do You Decide Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident? Look at the Facts and the Law

Texas personal injury law dictates that fault is to be apportioned according to the evidence. In any accident case where the injury victim is 51% or greater at fault for an accident, that victim may not recover compensation for their losses.

For example, a car accident victim who is 51% at fault for the accident cannot file a lawsuit for damages. A person deemed to be 50% liable, however, may do so but will see their compensation reduced by 50%.

Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law for a free consultation and preliminary case review. An experienced Texas car accident lawyer is here to help. Call (713) 973-8888 today.

Negligence Plays a Role in Determining Fault in a Car Accident Case

Negligence law is at the heart of car accident cases. The person bringing the lawsuit (the plaintiff) needs to show the other driver was negligent. There are several elements of your case that play a role in proving negligence:

  • The other driver had a legal duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner.
  • The other driver breached that duty and was unsafe in their driving.
  • That unsafe driving was the cause of the accident.
  • The accident caused injuries and/or economic harm.

If it is proven that a driver was negligent, then they are obligated under Texas law to compensate you, the injured party.

Specific Acts of Traffic Negligence

During our investigation and analysis of the evidence, we will search for specific acts of negligence that typically lead to traffic accidents. Depending on the circumstances, more than one type of negligence may be involved.

Driving While Intoxicated

Driving while intoxicated includes driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which may be prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit. In other words, any substance that deprives a person of the normal use of their faculties can lead to a DWI and liability in a car accident. However, the victim must prove that the intoxicated driver was at least 50% responsible for the accident.

Driving While Distracted

In some cases, it takes just one second for distracted driving to lead to an accident. Texting, reaching for things, rubbernecking, and many other distractions steal drivers’ attention away from what matters.

Driving While Drowsy or Fatigued

Drowsy and fatigued driving are continual safety issues on the road, notably with drivers who drive for a living. Big rig truckers, for example, drive long hauls to meet sometimes unreasonable timelines. Government regulations regulate the number of hours they may drive each day and week.

However, abiding by hours-of-service regulations does not automatically translate into an awake and alert commercial truck driver. In other words, a driver may still be drowsy or fatigued even when abiding by hours-of-service regulations.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving takes several forms, many of which are beyond negligent; they are reckless. Excessive speeding and racing, for example, are extremely dangerous actions that cause many accidents. Acts of road rage, such as brake checking and extreme tailgating, also fall in this category.

Traffic Violations

Run-of-the-mill traffic violations are common types of negligence that frequently lead to car accident liability. These include:

  • Speeding
  • Incomplete stops at stop signs and red lights
  • Failure to yield when turning right or left
  • Failure to check blind spots when changing lanes
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to signal
  • Failure to yield the right of way.

As mentioned earlier, any alleged acts of negligence must be proved as the cause of the accident. Simply because a person broke a traffic rule does not mean they caused a particular accident. The evidence must show that the alleged act of negligence directly caused the accident, or that the negligent driver was at least 50% at fault.

Car accident victims trust Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to hold liable parties accountable for the damages they owe.

Many Types of Evidence Can Be Used to Decide Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident Case

How does evidence play a role when determining who is at fault in a car accident? There are many kinds of evidence that can be used to show fault including:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Outside witness statements
  • Physical evidence
  • Surveillance video
  • Data from the vehicles themselves
  • A driver’s smartphone
  • Expert testimony in car accident reconstruction
  • The parties’ statements to others, especially on social media.

The many types of evidence show how complex a car accident case can be. Accident victims are strongly advised to seek representation from an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to navigate the claim process and fight for fair compensation.

Additionally, there is a statute of limitations for car accident claims – typically of two years. (*Always speak directly to an attorney for the exact deadlines that apply to your potential claims.) Victims must act quickly or risk forever losing out on the right to compensation for their injuries.

A Car Accident Lawsuit May Be the Right Option for You and Your Family

Insurance companies have enormous resources at their disposal. They fight hard every day to pay less. You need an experienced attorney to level the playing field.

Have you been harmed in a car accident? Do you have questions about car accidents and liability? Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law is here to help. Call (713) 973-8888 now for a free consultation and case review.

Attorney Terry Bryant

Attorney Terry BryantTerry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]

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