You might be sure whose fault the crash was, but it can be difficult to prove when the other parties are disputing your story. It’s best to work with an attorney who knows how to prove fault in your case.
Call Belt, Bruner & Barnett, PC today at (205) 933-1500 or use our online contact form to reach out. We will listen to your story and gather evidence to support your car accident claim. Then, we will help you navigate the claims process with the insurance company so you get the money you deserve.
Fault is the concept that someone is to blame in a car accident. That someone is often referred to as the “negligent driver.” In order to prove fault, you need to prove negligence.
Negligence means that a person failed to act in a reasonable manner and failed to uphold a legal duty. For example, a vehicle driver has a legal duty to drive without being distracted. If they are looking at their cell phone while driving, they are not acting responsibly. Thus, they are being negligent. If they cause a car wreck, it would be their fault.
Sometimes parties in a car accident claim may be partially at fault. In Alabama, if you are partially at fault for your accident, you cannot recover compensation. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney who will push back against the insurance company when they try to place some of the blame on you.
Proving that someone was at fault requires proof of negligence. Your attorney will investigate your accident and gather information to support the claim that the other driver was at fault. Some of the information they will use includes:
We will want to paint a picture of what happened at the scene of the accident. In order to do that, we need pictures of the environment, roadway, nearby traffic signs, and vehicles as they ended up after the crash. We may even work with experts, such as an accident reconstructionist, to recreate what happened before, during, and after the crash.
There may have been bystanders near the roadway or passengers in other cars who saw what happened during your crash. We will talk to them and get their stories. Sometimes we will have a deposition, which is an official recording of their statements, to collect information.
It’s important to get to witnesses early, before they forget what they saw. We also want to try to question them before the at fault driver. The insurance company may try to persuade them to say things that don’t match what actually happened. Or, they may tell them they can’t be sure of certain things, like if they saw the other driver using their phone while driving. We will want to hear the whole story from the witness before they are pressured by the insurance company.
When you’re in an accident, you should always call the police so that they file an accident report. This report will describe what happened and the surroundings of the crash. The police report can be relied upon when memories fade from people who were involved in the crash.
If the police issued any citations, those can be used as evidence of negligence and fault as well. However, even if you were issued a citation, we might be able to fight it and get you compensation. Don’t give up without speaking to our experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyers.
If you were in a wreck and are unsure of what to do next, call us right away. We will sit down with you and listen to your story. Then, we will begin the investigation process. We will collect information that will prove the other driver was at fault and you were not at all negligent in the crash.