If you are filing an insurance claim after a car accident, it is vital that you determine who was at fault for the auto collision and your injuries. If the other party’s negligent or careless actions caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if the other party proves you were partially at fault for the accident, your compensation could be reduced.
To prove fault after a car wreck, there are several pieces of evidence you should gather to support your claim. Our Baltimore car accident attorneys can work with you to obtain the evidence you need for a strong car accident claim.
Rear-end collisions are among the most common car accidents on the nation’s highways. Unfortunately, driver distractions – such as cell phones, GPS controls, and texts – are likely to cause the number of rear-end accidents to escalate. If you were seriously injured in a rear-end accident, it is important to understand your rights under Maryland law.
How to prove you are not at fault in a Car accident?
In some cases, determining who caused a car wreck can be an extremely straightforward process, especially when the other driver admits full responsibility or is cited for the reckless or negligent behavior that led to the collision. In a perfect world, this would be the case with all accidents, and victims would be able to move straight into the process of calculating the damages they are owed. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case, and the matter of fault can become a significant roadblock in the insurance claims process. In fact, insurance companies will leverage any uncertainty to their own advantage as another way to save as much money as possible on your claim – every additional percent of fault they can pin on you means a percentage point less they have to pay under comparative fault rules.
Trying to settle the matter of fault in a car accident can get complicated. This is especially true when you are trying to recover from your injuries and focus on the many other disruptions that a car collision causes. This is why it is so important to partner with an experienced, proven law firm that can spearhead this process while you focus on the many other areas of your life that require your attention.
How to prove you are not at fault in a Car accident?
With the understanding that the other driver’s insurance company is working diligently to reduce their financial obligation through any means necessary – whether by pinning additional fault on you or by avoiding as many compensatory damages as possible – it is helpful to know that there is help out there for you. The team at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt has spent decades taking on the insurance companies on behalf of Baltimore auto accident injury victims, and our case results speak for themselves.
We understand the claims process, and more importantly, we understand how difficult this time of your life is. When you are represented by a car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt, you can count on our commitment to keeping you involved in the process without adding any more stress into your life. You can focus on your recovery, your personal needs, and your professional obligations without taking on the additional anxiety that comes with fighting for the money you deserve.
Below are just a few of the many methods we employ when working to prove that our client is the victim and therefore entitled to the maximum compensation for someone else’s dangerous driving.
Common ways to prove fault after a Car collision
Every car accident is unique, and each investigation requires a different approach in order to gather all of the facts. The following are just a few of the many ways that an experienced car collision attorney in Baltimore may use to prove that their client was not at fault for a car crash. Remember that your health is the most important thing to focus on, so if you are unable to take any of these steps after your car wreck, do not try to push through your pain or worry too much about any of them. Once you are partnered with an auto accident attorney, they will be able to fill in any blanks and make sure that your story is heard.
- Always Call 911 After a Car Accident
Before even exiting the vehicle (unless it is dangerous to remain in your car), call 911 to report the auto collision and any injuries you are aware of. This serves a number of benefits: first, and most importantly, first responders are alerted and dispatched to the scene of the crash; second, it removes the possibility of the other driver trying to convince you not to call it in. In some instances, an at-fault driver may change their story or deny important facts if there is no accident report, making it your word against theirs in regards to the facts of the accident. If the other driver was acting recklessly or negligently, be sure to inform the 911 operator and the responding officer.
- Gather Photo and Video Evidence at the Scene
We all carry high-quality photo and video equipment in our pockets these days, which means that documenting the accident is very easy. If you are physically able to do so, take photos and videos of the crash. Videos can be exceptionally helpful because you can narrate as you go. No matter how vivid the collision may feel in the moments after, memory is unreliable, but videos will never change. If documenting the accident will complicate your injuries, ask someone else to do so. The more tangible documentation you are able to gather, the more support you will have as you work to present your story and prove your innocence.
- Get Eyewitness Statements and Contact Information
If there are eyewitnesses, make sure that you get their contact information. If you called 911, the responding police officer would take their statements and information while compiling an accident report. Eyewitnesses serve a number of benefits, including the fact that they had a much different perspective of the collision and may have witnessed the other driver engaging in dangerous behavior before even entering your line of sight. The more contemporaneous statements you have about the crash, the clearer the narrative will be about the lead-up to the crash, and the more likely you will be clearly exonerated if the other driver is truly at fault.
- Look for Traffic or Surveillance Cameras
Surveillance and traffic cameras are becoming more common, so it might be helpful to look around for a camera and try to track down the owner. If your car wreck was in a parking lot or near a business storefront, you could try to contact the businesses to see if they have any cameras facing the accident. It is important to do this quickly because most surveillance cameras have limited storage capacity and will wipe their hard drives within 12-24 hours unless these functions are manually overridden and certain clips are protected and saved.
- Contact a Car Accident Attorney
As you can see from these suggestions above, there is a lot to know about what steps to take after an accident. If you have been seriously injured, these steps may not be an option, and attempting to do them on your own can lead to further medical complications. When you hire an attorney, they will be able to take on these responsibilities while you make sure that you are getting the medical treatment you need in order to maximize your recovery. The Law Offices of Larry B. Litt offers a free initial case review for Baltimore car accident victims to establish the initial facts of the crash and get an immediate sense of how we can work together to get your cleared of being at fault.
If I hit someone from behind, is it my fault?
Most of us have heard the general rule that the person who rear-ends another car is always the person at fault. This must be the law in Maryland, right? Hmmm, not so fast. When it comes to rear-ending accidents, it is sometimes not so simple as to just blame the driver doing the rear-ending. The question of liability for the car wreck will depend upon the circumstances of your particular collision.
General Rule on Rear-End Accidents in Maryland
As you might expect, generally speaking, the person who rear-ended another vehicle is the at-fault party for the rear-end accident. That is because, as we were taught when we took driver’s ed, a driver should never follow another vehicle so closely that he or she is unable to react in time to avoid a crash if the driver in front needs to stop abruptly.
When it comes it comes to figuring out who the at-fault party is, police officers and insurance adjusters will be able to figure out what they need to know by looking at the damage to the vehicles, as well as testimony from the drivers and eyewitnesses, if any.
So, you can feel comfortable in the knowledge that if you were rear-ended, then the person who rear-ended you will be liable for the accident…most of the time.
We say “most of the time” because, like most things, there are always exceptions to the general rule.
Exceptions to Who is At Fault in a Rear-End Accident
There have been many scenarios in which the driver in front – thinking that the general rule about rear-end collisions always applies – will drive recklessly, “brake check” the vehicle behind him or her, or otherwise engage in road rage-type driving. That kind of negligent, or even reckless conduct, will result in partial blame falling on the driver in front who was rear-ended. The negligent driving on the part of the driver in front could be established by testimony from the driver in the rear and eyewitnesses, or even street cameras.
Another scenario in which the driver in front could be at lease partially liable for a rear-end accident is if that driver’s car had faulty brake lights. Thus, the vehicle in the rear was not aware that the person in front was braking.
After an auto collision that someone else caused, you should not have to go through the insurance claims process alone. Insurance companies have decades-old playbooks that they are constantly updating with ways to pay as little as possible for any given claim, yours included. When you have a lawyer representing your case, you can be confident that you have a legal professional who understands these tactics and knows how to fight back as aggressively as necessary to get you the money you deserve.
It doesn’t matter what type of injury you sustained in an auto accident. You have the right to seek compensation if another driver caused you injury during your car collision. Maryland’s car accident insurance law is complex. If you were hurt in a car wreck that someone else caused, or if you intend to being a claim against your own PIP insurance in a crash that you caused, it is advisable to consult a highly-rated and skilled rear-end collision lawyer right away. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt handle all types of car crashes, where they prove that their clients are not at fault for their auto accidents. Contact our office at 443-844-1528 to speak to an attorney about your case. We are available to help you, day or night.