Car Accidents: Proving Fault

Being injured in a car accident can be a very frightening and stressful experience, especially if another driver caused the collision. Fortunately, in Missouri or Kansas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the at-fault motorist. However, he and his insurance company may try to claim that you were the negligent driver in an attempt to avoid liability for compensating you.

What You Must Prove to Receive Compensation for Your Injuries

When filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, you have the burden of establishing your right to compensation for your injuries. To prove liability in a car wreck case, you will need to show:

  1. The driver had a duty to exercise reasonable caution on the road.
  2. The driver was negligent and did not fulfill that duty to exercise reasonable care when driving.
  3. The driver’s negligence was the cause of the wreck.
  4. You were physically damaged by the driver’s negligence.

How Do You Prove a Car Accident Was Not Your Fault?

Even if the other driver’s liability for causing your crash is clear cut, his insurance company may try to point the finger at you in an effort to deny or reduce your claim. However, you can take these crucial first steps at the accident scene to help prove that the other driver was at fault:

Take pictures.

All cellphones now have cameras. Take pictures of the accident scene so you can use them later to prove your case. Do not just take pictures of your car. Take pictures of the other auto, the position of the cars at the scene, road and weather conditions, and anything else you believe may be helpful. If you are too injured to take photos, ask a passenger in your vehicle or a bystander to do so for you.

Exchange contact information.

While obtaining contact information from the other driver will not help prove his negligence, you will need it to file a claim.

Contact the police.

You should call the police at the accident scene and obtain a copy of the police report. The police report will contain helpful information that you can use to establish the other party’s fault, such as his statement to the police, a narration of how the crash occurred, the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued. In addition, a police report will be helpful proof to use when you file your insurance claim.

Speak to witnesses.

It is crucial to get the contact information and statement of any individuals who saw your accident before they leave the scene. Third-party neutral witnesses who have no stake in your claim provide powerful evidence to convince the insurance company that you were not at fault.

Retain an attorney.

You should hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your auto wreck. He can collect evidence, interview witnesses, and hire necessary expert witnesses that can help prove that the other driver—and not you—was at-fault in causing your injuries.

Michael Foster
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney