Figuring out how fault is determined can be difficult when you’re a victim in an Atlanta car accident. Most times, the blame falls upon the negligent driver. This is the motorist whose actions caused the victim’s injury. Most times, you’ll need the help of an Atlanta car accident attorney to determine fault in auto collision cases and receive due compensation.
While negligence is usually the focus in most car accident disputes, proving it can be tricky. If you don’t know what to expect and how it works, it’s easy for the other party to blame you for the accident. Luckily, this article covers how to determine fault in car accident disputes and how to prove the negligent driver’s fault.
How to Determine Duty of Care and Breach of Duty in Atlanta Car Accident
The first issue usually addressed in car accident cases is whether the plaintiff owed a duty of care to the defendant. Drivers owe passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians a duty to operate a vehicle safely.
A driver’s duty of care begins when they get behind the wheel. Motorists must show the same level of care other drivers would use in the same circumstance. A clear example of a driver’s duty of care is obeying traffic signals.
With the duty of care made clear, there must be a clear breach for your Atlanta car accident attorney to prove fault. This means that the motorist must have operated their car in a way that doesn’t portray the caution a similar driver would show in the same circumstance.
How to Determine Causation and Damages in an Atlanta Car Accident
The act constituting a breach of duty must be the proximate cause of the accident. An example is when a pedestrian suffers an injury because a motorist ran a red light. However, the breached duty must have caused wounds or losses for the victim to have a valid claim.
Finally, the final factor in an Atlanta car accident case is the damages. Auto accident victims are entitled to total compensation by law for damages like medical bills and lost wages. Georgia law also entitles victims to compensation for their pain and suffering.
Facts That Support Determining Negligence
Determining negligence in an Atlanta car accident usually depends on several circumstances and facts surrounding the occurrence. Some of the common factual scenarios that make it easy for you to determine the driver’s negligence are:
- Ignoring laws and ordinances (speeding)
- Impaired driving (driving under the influence)
- Driving at an unsafe speed in bad weather conditions
- Distracted driving (eating and texting)
- Improper maintenance of vehicles
Can Multiple People Be at Fault in an Atlanta Auto Accident?
Some laws recognize multiple people can be responsible for a car accident. So, as a driver in an auto accident, you can be partially at fault for the crash. However, even if you’re found partially at fault for causing the collision, you can still recover fair compensation.
This is because Georgia has a modified comparative negligence law. Under this rule, courts compare your negligence and the at-fault driver’s to determine what you can recover.
If the at-fault driver is 60% at fault for the crash and you’re 40% responsible, the court would reduce your compensation by 40%. However, the law states that you won’t receive any compensation if you’re 50% or more at fault. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help to reduce your liability.
How to Prove Liability in Atlanta Car Accident Cases
When you’re pursuing compensation for damages, you must make a clear case for who is responsible for the accident. The at-fault party’s insurance carrier will not likely offer you compensation without establishing liability. Below are ways you can prove fault in an Atlanta car accident.
Determine If There Was a Traffic Law Violation
Traffic laws vary according to state, and there are several violations you can fall prey to while driving. These include failure to use turn signals, speeding, running a stop sign, failure to yield, illegal lane change, etc.
If one of the parties broke traffic laws, then the fault is usually clear-cut. So if there was a traffic law violation on the other driver’s part, it should be easy for you to prove liability in the car accident.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
Another way you can prove liability is with the police report. Most times, you can settle out of court using the police report. This is because the police report indicates who the investigators believe was at fault.
The responding officer usually explains what happened and who caused the collision. You can always request a sample of this report from the police. Alternatively, your Atlanta car accident attorney can ask for the report on your behalf.
Police reports usually include:
- Both parties’ written statements
- Witness statements
- A sketch of the accident scene
- Several other pieces of information to prove liability in an accident
Collect Physical Evidence
It’s also crucial to collect objective evidence that’ll help you avoid the biased assertions of the other party. This evidence could be the damage on both vehicles, wheel marks, tire impressions, etc. When combined with witness testimonies, this evidence could benefit your case.
Take photos of the accident scene, especially if there are multiple vehicles. It could give the court insight into what happened.
Call an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Atlanta car accident injury claims are usually complicated. Accident victims often do not have the necessary background to navigate the insurance claim process. Also, without the proper evidence, the court won’t find the defendant at fault unless you present a compelling argument.
So, personal injury lawyers are your best shot at receiving your due compensation. Our experienced Atlanta injury lawyers at The Weinstein Firm can help you meet the burden of proof using clear and convincing evidence. Then, we’ll walk you through the process to obtain maximum compensation.