How to Determine Who Is at Fault in an Accident

car accident side collision

After a car accident, the goal of other driver’s insurance company is to avoid damage payouts. A driver at fault is usually someone who violated a traffic law due to speeding, distracted driving, running a red light, etc. Nonetheless, their insurer will probably deny its customer was at fault. Determining who is at fault for a car accident isn’t always easy.

To simplify matters, immediately collect evidence at the accident scene. Some motor vehicle accidents are more complex than others. One driver may cut across a few lanes, causing other motorists to hit the brakes; an accident can easily occur if someone doesn’t stop in time. Perhaps that person was following too closely, and therefore gets the blame rather than the reckless lane crosser.

The evidence you should gather includes:

  • Comments from other drivers, which may include admissions of guilt.
  • Witness accounts and their names and phone numbers.
  • Police reports and citations, which provide valuable details.
  • Medical reports and bills, which connect your injuries with the accident.
  • Photographs that show vehicles’ position and damage.

Determining Fault by Assessing Damage

The damage to vehicles helps determine how an accident took place, even if you’re not a car accident attorney in Los Angeles. First, look at the location and type of damage. If there’s damage to the front of your car and the back of the vehicle behind you, a rear-end collision is the likely cause. The at-fault driver is usually the one in back, because they were likely following too closely.

A T-bone crash, or a right-angle collision, can make it harder to prove liability. They most often happen at traffic lights, stop signs, or driveways. A T-bone collision can occur when a driver goes through a red light or makes a left turn into oncoming traffic.

But in many accidents, speed, acceleration, and weather are factors that can complicate the process of determining fault. Authorities may look to determine if any drivers involved were intoxicated. Evidence such as tire marks may be used to break down the sequence of events that led to the crash.

The following types of vehicle damage can be used to prove liability:

  • Damage to the middle passenger side, not the front right fender, means the other driver probably wasn’t paying attention while leaving a driveway. If your front end is damaged, it may be unclear who’s at fault. Perhaps the other driver pulled out before you approached, but it could also point to you hitting the vehicle.
  • Damage to the left front corner or front side may indicate you tried to avoid an accident as someone turned left ahead. Damage to their right front corner shows they could be negligent, but damage to their rear right corner can mean you may have been inattentive or failed to slow down in time.
  • When there is damage to the front of the negligent motorist’s vehicle, and to the driver’s side of the other vehicle, there’s evidence the negligent motorist ran a red light and the non-negligent driver had the right-of-way with a green light.

Let a Skilled Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Investigate

The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani serves any injured car accident victim in California. Available in Los Angeles and Orange County, we not only help get you compensation for injuries, but also investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. The evidence gathered can help strengthen your case. Contact us online or call 888-732-8948 today for a free consultation and case review.

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Los Angeles, CA 90015


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Los Angeles

serving southern california


714 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90015


(888) 508-5085