How Do I Prove The Other Driver was At Fault for the Car Accident?
Showing the defendant committed a traffic infraction leading directly the accident is perhaps the purest way to show fault.
We’ve discussed in other guides the impact of a ‘clear liability’ situation on the value of a case. Any personal injury and accident lawyer in Baltimore, MD will tell you -it matters. If the defense has a strong liability case, any settlement offer will be discounted to take that into account. The consequences of failing to carry this burden are significant. The plaintiff has the burden of proving who caused the car accident. If they fail, there is no recovery.
Those that have studied the statistics have seen that, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], the leading cause of car accidents, in descending order are:
- improper lane change
- failure to yield
- reckless actions
- over reaction, and
- a failure to obey traffic control devices.
Personal injury and accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD that try their cases commonly try to show the defendant violated a rule of the road in order to establish negligence, and correspondingly “fault”. Certainly proof of any of the above -save perhaps "over reaction" which seems somewhat subjective, at least for proof in a legal case- should meet the burden of proof. There are others, of course, and the creative and effective lawyer will put his or her skills to the test to find such a violation.
The violation must cause the accident and corresponding injury.
The infraction must have a reasonable relation to the accident in terms of causation. For example, making an illegal left turn in front of oncoming traffic is likely highly relevant in a case involving an accident between the turning car and the oncoming traffic. That same misconduct likely has little relevance if there is an accident a mile down the road after the person made the illegal turn.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 12/11/19.