Car accidents happen every day on Louisiana and Texas roads. Motor vehicle collisions can be a major headache, especially when it comes to determining who is at fault in an accident and how to handle damages after that. That’s because at-fault determination in a personal injury claim can be tricky. If no driver willingly admits fault and takes responsibility for the crash, all involved parties may end up in court to hash out the specifics of the crash.
To help you better navigate the process of determining who is at fault in an accident, it’s advisable to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer who can assess the details of your case and determine who may be liable for your injuries. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we understand that every car accident is unique. Our legal team is ready to gather and analyze all relevant evidence to prove who is responsible for your car wreck.
But first, let’s find out what fault is and how to determine fault.
What Is “Fault” in an Accident?
Fault comes up when a party is believed to have caused an accident. It refers to the driver who caused the crash. It is easier to assign fault in some cases than in others. For example, you are typically at fault if you run a red light at an intersection and hit another vehicle that has the right of way. You may also be to blame if you fail to stop after another driver hits their brakes and you crash into them, causing a rear-end accident.
Every state has laws regarding at-fault determination after a car crash. It’s imperative for you to know who’s at fault so that you can know who to go after to seek damages.
How Do You Know Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?
To receive compensation for a motor vehicle accident claim, you must prove to the insurance company or court that someone else was responsible for your accident, injuries, and losses. Depending on the facts of the case, it can be extremely difficult to point out who is responsible for your crash. Some of the supporting information your lawyer can use for an at-fault determination includes:
After an accident, it’s crucial to contact the police or call 911 to report the crash. If this is done, there will be an official police report about the accident. Your Louisiana car accident lawyer can contact the local law enforcement traffic division to get a copy of the police report, which contains relevant information about the crash. In the report, the responding officer may give their opinion about whom they believe was at fault for the crash.
Even though the police weren’t there when the crash happened, they are trained and experienced in asking the right questions, collecting relevant information, and getting parties to cooperate. They can be instrumental in determining whether factors such as texting while driving or driving under the influence led to the accident.
If witnesses at the accident scene provide their names and contact details, your motor vehicle accident lawyer can contact them to get their take on the accident. Witness statements can significantly strengthen your case during the trial process.
After an accident, drivers at the scene may accuse each other of causing the crash. In some cases, a driver may admit guilt and own up to their mistakes. If a driver admits fault, they bear the burden of financial responsibility for the accident.
Photographs From the Scene
If you gathered evidence from the scene, such as photos of vehicle damage, road signs and conditions, and skid marks, your Louisiana car accident lawyer might be able to prove who is responsible for your accident. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we consult accident reconstruction experts to help determine what happened moments before the crash.
If the accident occurred in an urban setting, such as a city or metropolitan area, CCTV cameras, traffic cameras, or at least one dashcam in the area may have recorded it. Since footage may be overwritten or deleted in a matter of days or weeks, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to track down such recordings.
When police arrive at the scene of the accident, they may have reason to believe one or more drivers involved in the crash were impaired. They may conduct alcohol breathalyzer tests at the scene or at the police station later on. Depending on the circumstances, the test results may prove the driver was impaired, giving you grounds to sue the at-fault party for drunk driving.
The legal limit to drive in Louisiana and Texas is 0.08%. If your blood alcohol concentration exceeds this, you may face drunk driving charges in both states. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is much lower: 0.04%.
Cell Phone Records
It is illegal to text while driving in the U.S. In fact, a publication by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” Texting or calling while you drive is dangerous since it takes your concentration away from the road.
If the driver who caused the accident was using their phone at the time, their phone records could be vital in proving fault. Since the carrier may be unwilling to record phone records, the legal team at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers may have to file a subpoena to obtain them.
Black Box Data
Today, many vehicles have data recorders that register various operational variables, such as speed, airbag deployment, and brake application. If your car accident attorney believes this data might strengthen your personal injury claim, they will take the necessary steps to secure it.
Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers Can Help You Determine Fault
A motor vehicle accident can be an overwhelming experience. Dealing with the other driver, their insurance company, the police, and the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit can be difficult. What’s more, the other driver and their insurance company may try to pin the blame on you. That’s why you need the help of an experienced lawyer to prove the defendant had a duty of care that they breached, resulting in your accident, injuries, and losses.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident and are concerned about whether you are liable, our lawyers can help. Call 888-492-5532 today to complete our online contact form to schedule a free case review.
- Driving Offenses. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on August 11, 2023.
- Impaired driving and penalties – DUI/DWI. Texas Department of Transportation. Accessed on August 11, 2023.
- State Laws on Distracted Driving – Ban on Hand-Held Devices and Texting While Driving. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Accessed on August 11, 2023.
- Distracted Driving Dangers and Statistics. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Accessed on August 11, 2023.