If you’ve been in a car accident, you may know that the crash happened differently than the at-fault driver is now saying. And you’re probably well aware that determining who was at fault for the crash is critical to negotiating compensation for damages and making sure that you protect your rights.
When it comes to determining fault, the location of damage to the cars involved often sheds light on the circumstances leading to the accident and any laws that could have been broken. But determining fault by location of damage has its limits. There are situations where damage doesn’t tell a clear story about who had the right of way.
If you have questions about car accident fault, a Manchester NH car accident lawyer can help. To learn more, speak to a car accident attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC today.
Why Is Determining Fault So Important?
Determining fault in a car accident is necessary to recover costs you may have incurred. If the other driver is at fault, you can seek reimbursement from them for damages – this is usually done through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These damages can compensate you for repair expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
How Does Location of Damage Help in Proving Who Was at Fault in a Car Crash?
Location of vehicle damage often tells a story, and can shed light as to how the accident may have occurred. A car moving in a certain direction at a particular speed will often cause specific type of damage to the other vehicle. Looking at this damage immediately after an accident can be useful to corroborate your story events.
Sometimes, the location of damage paints the whole picture of how the accident unfolded. Other times, it tells only part of the story. But is still useful to rule out what didn’t occur. An experienced car accident attorney can examine both vehicles and help establish that you were not at fault for the accident.
Example of When Damage Location Proves Fault
For example, a rear-end crash will leave damage to the back of your vehicle and the front of the other car. Most often, the driver that rear-ended you will be determined at fault in the accident. This is because drivers are required to leave sufficient stopping distance between themselves and the car in front of them. When they crash into the car in front of them, they fail to maintain this distance and are at fault.
But what if the other drive claims their brakes didn’t work? In a rear end collision, an evaluation of the heights of the vehicles at rest and at the time of impact can help show if the rear car was breaking hard (which causes the front of the car to dip down slightly) or not.
When Does Location of Damage Not Prove Fault?
Sometimes, looking at the location of damage to both vehicles isn’t enough to establish fault. For example, damage to your passenger side and the front of the other car could show that you were the collision occurred. But it wouldn’t show which car ran the red light. If you had a green light and the other driver ran through a red light, they would be at fault. But if you turn ran the red, then you would be at fault. In this case, location of damage alone wouldn’t provide sufficient proof of who was to blame for the crash. Witnesses (if available) and the credibility of the driver’s become key in these cases.
That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced Manchester NH car accident attorney who can help you gather additional information about the accident. This information could include speeds, acceleration, weather, intoxication, and tire marks. Such evidence could be gathered from witness testimony and supplement location of damage to complete the paint the whole picture.
Learn More About Determining Fault by Location of Damage in a Car Crash
If you’ve been in a car accident and are seeking recovery for damages, an experienced Manchester NH injury attorney can help. At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we can explain the evidence you need to build your case. Contact us today.