Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to tell who is at fault for causing a collision—especially in accidents that involve numerous vehicles. While an accident reconstruction expert can be hired to determine the root cause of a car accident and the sequence of events that followed, sometimes this cost exceeds the value for small car accident claims. So, what other methods can you and your car accident lawyer use to determine who hit who in your car wreck case?
8 Methods of Determining Who Hit Who After a Car Accident
1. The Police Report
When a car accident occurs, at least one party involved should call 911 to report it, and then the police or another related governmental agency should respond to the scene of the crash. The officer may prepare a written police report which may state which party the officer believes to be at fault for the collision and whether or not a citation was issued and/or anyone was placed under arrest.
2. Witness Testimony
Eyewitnesses are individuals present at the scene of an auto accident who saw what occurred. The drivers involved in the crash can testify about what they believe happened and how they felt. Other potential witnesses include passengers, pedestrians and bystanders, and other drivers not involved in the collision. Eyewitness testimony can be helpful when determining who caused the car accident, including providing details about if one or more vehicles was speeding, the weather conditions at the time of the crash, whether anyone involved appeared to be intoxicated if anyone ran a stop sign or disobeyed another traffic law, and more.
3. Accident Scene Photos or Videos
If you are injured and cannot safely move, don’t; but, if you are able to capture accident scene photos or videos, this can be helpful evidence for the insurance companies involved and for your personal injury lawyer. Try to capture closeups of the accident scene before anyone moves their vehicle, including points of impact and areas of property damage. You should also take pictures of the traffic signals, roadway, debris, and the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license.
4. Vehicle Damage
The location and type of damage to each vehicle can often indicate who hit who, how hard, and in what way. To gather evidence of the vehicle, get the names of witnesses, take pictures at the accident scene, and ensure the police document it.
5. Victim Injuries
If you are injured in a car wreck, you should seek immediate medical attention. Medical personnel will take notes on your injuries and your descriptions of how they occurred, which can be used as evidence. In addition, if who hit who is disputed, doctor testimony about how your injuries were likely caused can help prove the truth.
6. Surveillance Footage
Some traffic intersections have video cameras recording what happens there. In addition, some businesses have outward-facing security cameras that record footage on an ongoing loop to both deter and track vandalism to their property. Video footage like this can serve as evidence of who hit who in a car accident.
7. Expert Analysis
As mentioned above, accident reconstructionists or forensic engineers specialize in fields such as mechanical or biomechanical engineering and can reconstruct how a car accident occurred, ostensibly showing who hit who and how. Their training and credentials allow them to serve as testifying expert witnesses in a car accident trial.
8. Vehicle Event Data Recorders
Not unlike an airplane’s “black box,” a motor vehicle can contain an event data recorder or EDR as these have been mandated since 2012. EDRs record a car’s activity in the moments before and during a crash impact. Recorded data includes steering wheel angle, restraint use, acceleration, dashboard warning lights, and more. This data can help resolve liability disputes.
Who hit who in a car accident is one of the most crucial first questions that must be answered in resolving a car wreck. If you were involved in a car accident, contact the Houston car accident lawyers at Dax F. Garza today. Our accident attorneys will get you the immediate legal assistance you need when another driver claims you hit them. Our car accident lawyers have the skill and experience to manage your insurance company adjustors and lawyers to make sure you don’t jeopardize your legal rights and, help you prove your claim against the other driver. Contact us today.