A car crash in the Manassas area can take many forms: one vehicle may rear end another, there might be a dangerous “t-bone” impact, cars may slide on ice and hit each other or a wrong-way driver may plow head-on into another car. Regardless of the type of auto accident, it is extremely important to determine who was at fault. The finding of fault has crucial implications for liability, insurance, payment of medical expenses and the criminal and civil legal aspects of a crash.

How is fault determined after an auto crash? First, it is important to know that fault is not always obvious — and even when it seems to be, insurance companies and lawsuits require evidence. In certain types of collisions, such as rear end accident or a left-turn accident, fault may be relatively straightforward to discern. However, variables such as weather conditions, the state of the vehicles involved in the crash, road conditions, signage near the area of impact and the behavior of the driver who was hit may make finding fault in these types of accidents more complicated.

What provides the evidence for determine who was at fault? A variety of sources may be utilized. Police reports can provide information, witnesses can also offer valuable observations about what happened, and insurance reports can also round-out the picture of what took place. In addition, state traffic laws and Virginia’s rules of the road can also aid the equation of who was at fault. Finally, the state of the vehicles itself after impact can yield telltale clues regarding who may have caused the accident. At times, accident reconstruction may come into play in order to further analyze a wreck and determine whose fault it was.

In Virginia, there is a significant part of the law that involves the potential fault of the driver who has struck by another driver. The state makes it so that if the victim was at fault in the accident at all, one’s ability to seek recovery for damages is greatly diminished. Still, bringing the facts of an accident to an experienced auto accident attorney can help a victim determine who was at fault and if there is the potential for a civil personal injury lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw.com, “Car accident liability: Proving fault in a car crash,” accessed on March 26, 2015