Under Texas law, anyone involved in a car accident that causes injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must report the crash to law enforcement. When police arrive at the scene, they will get medical attention for injured individuals, clear the roadway, and direct traffic.
They will also write a report, although that report may not state which driver was at fault for the accident. When police do not determine who was to blame for the crash, how can accident victims prove fault?
In these types of cases, it is crucial to speak to a Houston car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian. Our skilled attorneys know how to determine liability for a crash and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
How Fault Is Determined After a Car Accident
To determine fault in an accident, you must prove another person was negligent. Negligence is a failure to act in a reasonable manner that keeps everyone safe. In car accident cases, there are many ways an attorney can help you determine fault. They’ll do this by relying on the evidence in a case.
One of the best forms of evidence after a car accident are photographs from the scene. This is why it’s so important for accident victims to take pictures as soon as they can after a crash. Photos can show different angles of vehicles, how they were positioned in relation to each other, and show pertinent information, such as traffic lights. This helps your attorney, the insurance company, and if necessary, a judge to determine who was at fault for your accident.
To determine fault, attorneys also often work with accident reconstruction specialists. These professionals rely on photographs, along with specialized equipment and computers, to help them reconstruct the scene. Accident reconstruction can help determine the speed of the vehicles at the time of the accident, the severity of the collision, and the visibility and even behavior of each driver. This crucial expert testimony can help determine fault in a crash.
In addition to photographs and accident reconstruction specialists, eyewitness statements are also considered important pieces of evidence in accident cases. The courts weigh the statements of these objective and unbiased bystanders very heavily, as they have no real interest in the case. Therefore, they are typically deemed very credible.
What Is Comparative Fault?
While a court or insurance company may determine another driver was at fault for the crash, it may also be determined that you contributed to the cause of the accident as well. When that is the case, you may be barred from receiving compensation or your compensation may be reduced.
This is due to the fact that Texas follows the legal doctrine of modified comparative fault. This means the insurance companies and courts will consider all parties that are at fault. Anyone found partially at fault for an accident must provide compensation to victims injured as a result. If someone is injured and they are found to be 51 percent or more at fault than other victims, they are barred from receiving compensation.
However, if accident victims are found less than 51 percent at fault for the accident, they can still file a claim for compensation. The courts or insurance company will assign them a percentage of blame and reduce their total compensation by that same percentage.
The defense of comparative fault is often raised in car accident cases. If the insurance company or at-fault driver is successful with this argument, they don’t have to pay as much compensation. This is one reason why it’s so important to speak to a car accident attorney after a crash.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If the police were called to the scene of your accident but did not determine who was at fault, you’re likely wondering if you can take action. With the help of our car accident attorneys, you can.
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help car accident victims prove another driver was liable for their accident. We will thoroughly investigate your accident and demand the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.