In a vehicle accident, the police arrive on the scene to help clear up the accident. While there, they also gather evidence about what may have happened to cause it. Their initial job is to attempt to determine fault by the location of damages on the vehicle.
If you have been in an accident, your responsibility can sometimes be determined by what the responding officers see. Instead of taking a chance and finding out that you are solely responsible for the incident, you need someone on your side.
Pacific West Injury Law can go over the evidence from your case and help you clear your good name of fault. This can also help you prove your case if you are dealing with accident injuries and need help to pay medical bills.
Can Vehicle Damage Determine Fault?
When an accident has occurred, vehicles tell the story of what happened. Responding officers are trained to understand vehicle collision positions and what they mean. They are also taught to consider the other details that may show fault.
To understand a little of what the responding officer sees, you should also look at your accident. It will help you begin to understand the story that is being told about your accident.
For instance, when the cars come to rest, and one has substantial front-end damages, it will mean that it hit the other object head-on. Therefore, the driver could be at fault.
Exceptions Are Possible in Any Accident
While exceptions are possible in any accident, it depends on where the impact point is on the other vehicle. A side-impact, or T-bone accident, may indicate that the car turned in front of the vehicle with front-end damage. If the side damages are more toward the back of their vehicle, police must determine why the other vehicle failed to brake in time.
The amount of damages can also tell the responding officer approximately what speed the vehicles were traveling when they came together. Although it may appear to be straightforward to prove fault, damages may not always be enough to prove fault.
Why Isn’t Damage Always Enough to Prove Your Case?
Accidents are not always easy to figure out. In most cases, the one with rear-end damages may be less at fault, but it may also be proven that they did something to cause the accident.
For example, let’s say that the lead car suddenly slams on the brakes without warning or without apparent reason. Even if the rear car was driving at a safe distance, they still may not be able to avoid impact. Who is ultimately at fault?
T-bone accidents are usually assumed to happen because someone turns in front of another vehicle. However, if the one with front-end damages was the one who ran a light, then they are the ones who should be held accountable. The uncertainty of responsibility is why the responding officers will want to ensure they have all the information regarding an accident before the scene is changed.
Other Types of Evidence Collected at Accidents
At every accident, responding officers will want to know everything they can about what happened before, during, and after. They will look for:
- Witness Statements: Witnesses to the accident include other passengers in the vehicle collisions, driver’s statements, and anyone who was there to see the accident happen.
- Accident Debris, Photographs, and Videos: Skidmarks, debris from the vehicles, and other information will be photographed since it can reveal the truth behind what happened. Although not always available, some responding officers may try to get videos from traffic cameras or nearby video surveillance cameras to see what happened to cause the accident.
- Cell Phone Records: In difficult to comprehend accidents, cell phone records may prove beneficial because they can show whether someone was texting, talking, or using their phone in other ways at the time of impact. In this situation, they may be the one who is seen as liable for it.
If there are injuries, medical records may also be added to the vehicle accident report, because injuries also tell what may have happened. Whiplash is often caused by rear impacts. Breaking your foot on the brake pedal may prove you were responding to the other vehicle pulling out in front of you.
Gathering and Preserving Your Own Evidence
Police aren’t the only ones who can take note of evidence. For you, if it is safe, and you are not injured, evidence can be vital for proving your guilt or innocence in the accident. If you are able, you should gather your own evidence including photographs of the accident scene, including:
- Your vehicle
- Other vehicles involved
- Skid marks you see in the road
- Missing or obscured stop signs
- Proof of other road conditions (weather, vehicles parked near the road, etc.)
Basically, you should take photographs and videos of anything you see near the scene of your accident. If you are unable to take photographs for yourself, then you may consider asking someone else on the scene to take them for you.
How an Attorney Will Use Your Vehicle’s Damage to Prove Your Case
Since processing accident scenes and making sense of all the evidence collected from them, it can be hard to prove your claim without an attorney’s help. If you live in Las Vegas, Henderson, or North Las Vegas, Pacific West Injury Law would like to be the one you turn to for help.
We understand what to look for in an accident, and what the clues reveal about your situation. We are here to help you with a free case review. All you have to do is contact us online or by phone.