One of the most important aspects of a car accident case is proving liability. When an accident occurs, usually one or more drivers contributed to the incident. Determining which party was at fault plays a large part in how compensation is distributed. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Sacramento car accident attorneys want to discuss how fault is determined in the aftermath of a crash.
Looking to the Police Report
In the aftermath of a car accident, it is typical for law enforcement to arrive on the scene. Under California law, nearly every accident must be reported to the police. The police officers should interview every driver and passenger involved in the accident as well as any witnesses that are present. The officer will compile this data along with other evidence at the scene to create an official accident report that will be turned in to the state. In most cases, the police officer will indicate which party they found to be at fault for the incident.
If the police officer cites a driver for a traffic violation or charges them with a crime, this will also serve as important evidence for proving fault in the case. The accident report and any citations or charges will also be the primary pieces of evidence insurance carriers will use when determining settlement amounts.
Other Ways to Determine Fault in a Sacramento Car Crash
However, the accident report is not always going to be the final determining factor in these cases. In fact, the police report does not always get it right. It may be necessary for a driver involved in an accident to secure a Sacramento car accident lawyer to help them prove fault in the case.
A skilled attorney knows that there are other types of evidence that could be beneficial in proving fault in a car accident case. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation and work to obtain:
- Any video surveillance from nearby businesses or homes that may show what happened in the accident.
- Any photographs taken at the scene of the accident by smartphones or other cameras.
- Eyewitness statements from those at the scene. These statements often contradict what went into the official police report.
It may be necessary for an attorney to work with an accident reconstruction expert. These professionals will be able to “reverse engineer” the accident based on evidence gathered and be able to paint a clear picture of what happened at the scene. Law enforcement officials commonly use accident reconstruction experts in the event a serious or fatal accident occurs, so there is nothing wrong with an accident victim also using these experts.
Let an Attorney Help Your Case Immediately
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, let the team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger get to work today. We will investigate every aspect of your case in order to secure maximum compensation for your damages, which can include:
- Coverage of all crash-related medical expenses
- Lost income if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
When you need a Sacramento personal injury attorney, we will stand by your side throughout your entire case.