How Do You Determine Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?

The determination of who is at fault in a car accident is made through the evidence available, and our Buffalo car accident lawyer will seek all parties who may be held liable.

Determining who is at fault in a car accident is of major importance, because the at-fault parties can be held liable for damages that occurred as a result. There are times when it is relatively easy to determine fault, such as if your vehicle is stopped at a red light and another driver slams into you from the rear. However, many times who is at fault for the accident is not that clear — there maybe multiple parties involved, and more than one driver may have contributed to the crash.

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a lawsuit. New York laws regarding car accidents are complicated; making mistakes can be costly; and it is difficult to know how to proceed with getting the compensation you are entitled to. In addition, insurance companies are out for profit and will try to get you to admit to fault so they can pay out as little as possible. It helps to have a car accident lawyer on your side to ensure that all the at-fault parties are located and that everything is done properly to help you win maximum compensation.

The Buffalo car accident attorneys at Feroleto Law believe that when someone’s carelessness or negligence causes you harm, you should not have to pay for your injuries. Our car accident team has been helping people in Buffalo and in locations across upstate New York get compensation after a car crash for more than 40 years.

Our car accident attorney will answer your questions, and work with you and explain how to determine fault to get you the settlement you deserve. There is no legal fee to you unless and until we win your case.

Call us today at (716) 854-0700 to schedule a free consultation and determine the best way to proceed.

How Do You Know Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Our attorneys will get to work immediately — investigating the accident and gathering evidence to determine who was at fault.

Vehicle crashes are almost always the result of human error. People often make mistakes or are reckless behind the wheel; they may drive while fatigued, distracted, or impaired by drugs or alcohol; they may violate rules of the road such as by speeding or failing to yield the right of way. Other entities that may cause car accidents are manufacturers of faulty parts that failed, or municipality workers or a road maintenance crew that failed to make proper repairs or clear debris from the road or put up warning signs about road hazards. Any of these parties may be found to be at fault, and when their mistakes or recklessness causes someone else serious injury, they can be held accountable for the harm that resulted.

When you contact Feroleto Law, we will listen to your version of what happened and to your determination of who the at-fault parties were. Our attorneys will then help prove negligence and fault by taking the following steps.

We will…

  • Investigate the accident scene and gather evidence such as photos, surveillance or traffic camera videos that may have captured the accident, and take pictures of tire track marks, skid marks, and paint and other damage to a vehicle. This evidence can show if there was speeding, and where the vehicle was hit and from what direction.
  • Interview eyewitnesses and first responders.  Police who arrive at the scene are trained to note the damage to all vehicles involved and see the position they are in after the crash, and they may make a determination of who actually is at fault accordingly.
  • Examine police, ambulance, and medical records, documents, and reports.
  • Hire experts to reconstruct the accident, testify as to what happened, and prove the extent of your injuries and what your past and projected future expenses may be, as necessary.

Our Car Accident Attorneys Know How to Prove Negligence.

In any car accident lawsuit, your attorney must be able to prove that the parties you are suing (called the defendants in the case) were negligent and caused the accident and that you suffered damages as a result. Legally, this means proving the following elements:

  • Duty — The defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, all drivers have a duty of care to drive in a manner that a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances and to obey the rules of the road.
  • Breach — The defendant breached that duty, such as by speeding through a red light or driving drunk, drowsy, or distracted.
  • Cause — The breach caused your injuries, such as broken bones, paralysis, or head and neck injuries.
  • Damages — The injuries resulted in actual damages. We would document your losses, such as lost wages, property damages, and medical and rehabilitation costs, and show that they go beyond the cost of insurance reimbursement.

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Who’s at Fault?

Insurance companies will hold their own investigations for determining fault in a car accident, as well as assessing property damage and bodily injuries. They will attempt to interview every party involved and seek to blame you or others for the damages so they have to pay out less. This is why you should never talk to an insurance company. Instead, let your attorney deal with them and handle all negotiations.

There are times when more than one party is at fault and contributed to the accident. New York is a “pure comparative negligence” state that considers contributory negligence. This means a judge or jury will compare fault for each party and assign a percentage of fault for each, and your damage award will be reduced by the percentage that you are at fault.  Insurance claims adjusters also consider contributory negligence when they are evaluating your case and will adjust the damage award accordingly. Fortunately, even if you are partially at fault, our car accident attorneys can help you get a settlement. For example, if your case involved a settlement of $100,000, and you are found to be 10 percent at fault, we can help you recover $90,000.

Call Our Attorney for Help Proving Fault and Getting Fair Compensation for Your Damages

Our attorneys may win compensation for both your economic and non-economic losses.

When you bring a car accident lawsuit against an at-fault party, you may be awarded compensation for both your economic and non-economic damages and losses.

Economic damages are those that have a specific dollar value, such as:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost wages and future earning capacity
  • Property damage.

Non-economic damages are payments to compensate you for the negative effects of the accident on you and your family, including:

  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Permanent injury or partial disability
  • Wrongful death, if someone has died.

Punitive damages – In some rare cases, where there was extreme negligence, recklessness, or egregious or immoral conduct, New York courts will also award punitive damages. The purpose is to punish this behavior and discourage such behavior from happening again.

At Feroleto Law, our car accident attorney offers extensive courtroom experience, highly professional legal services and an unparalleled commitment to you, our client.

If you want to know how you determine who’s at fault in a car accident, ask us for help. We will investigate to uncover the facts of your car accident, calling on our relationships with accident reconstruction experts, medical specialists, financial experts, and others as needed. Our preparation is always thorough, and that has been central to the success we’ve had for our clients.

Don’t delay. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working to prove fault while evidence is fresh and while witnesses can be found.

To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call Feroleto Law at (716) 854-0700 today.