Proving Fault after a Car Accident
In many cases, you can only recover compensation after a car accident if someone else was at fault. This blog post provides the basics of how you can prove that someone else was at fault for your injuries.
The Rules of the Road
Even without knowing the specifics of the law, we all know the basic rules of the road: don’t speed, pay attention, don’t needlessly endanger others. We were all taught these rules as student drivers, and they hold true now. Most of the rules we were taught have their basis in the law, and if someone violated one of those rules and injured you, they are at fault.
If necessary, a car accident attorney can help you present the facts of your case and the rules of the road to a jury to make them understand that the driver who injured you should be held responsible for your injuries.
In many places, citations aren’t admissible as evidence of a driver’s fault. That means the police office can decide someone else was at fault and give them a ticket, but you can’t use that fact at trial. Still, if the police officer decided one person was at fault, your car accident lawyer can use the facts the police officer relied on to prove that same fact to a jury. You can also call the officer as a witness to talk about who he believes caused the crash as well.
In the same vein, just because an officer wrote you a ticket doesn’t mean you can’t make a claim. Sometimes officers make mistakes regarding who was at fault. And maybe they just wanted to cite everyone to clear them out to the highway quickly. If you’ve been cited, but you believe the crash wasn’t your fault, make sure you talk to an experienced car accident attorney to get advice.
Whatever the case, the fact that someone was cited for the crash may not be the end of the story.
We’ve all likely heard the saying that if you hit someone from behind, you are responsible for the crash. In some states, that’s because there is a law that says that. For example, in Colorado, there is a jury instruction that says, “When a driver of a motor vehicle hits another vehicle in the rear, the law presumes that the driver was negligent.” C.J.I. Civ. 11:12. If you’ve been hit from behind, you or your car accident lawyer can use this presumption to prove that the other driver was at fault.