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Factors the Court Looks at to Determine Fault in a Car Accident

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2016 | Car Accidents |

Establishing who is at fault in a car accident is critical to determining what you can collect for damages to your vehicle.

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important not to admit or discuss fault at the accident scene. If you believe the other driver is at fault, the police report, photos of the accident scene, eyewitness testimony, and other related evidence will support your claim in court. Determining fault in a car accident is the deciding factor in a courtroom for who and how much will be compensated for vehicle damages. In order to ensure you receive compensation, you need the services of a Kentucky car accident attorney who is experienced in personal injury litigation.

Vehicle Damages Awarded Based on Fault

Kentucky is a no-fault state, which means that you do not have to prove the accident was another driver’s fault before receiving compensation for medical bills and lost wages from your insurance company. If you were injured in the accident, you cannot sue the other driver for pain and suffering or emotional distress. However, compensation for damages to your vehicle and its contents are still based on who was at fault in the accident. Here are a couple of very simplified examples: If a driver runs into the back of your car while you are stopped at a red light and there are no extenuating circumstances, the other driver is likely 100% at fault for the accident and will be responsible for paying for the repair to your car. On the other hand, if you were stopped at a green light when the car rear-ended you, and there was no reason for you to be stopped other than that you were negligent, you will be held responsible and your claim for damages against the other driver will be reduced by the percentage of fault the court allocates to you. For example, if the court decided you were 20% at fault, and your damages are $10,000, the amount you are entitled to collect from the other driver will be reduced by 20% and you will receive only $8,000.

Some Factors the Court Will Consider and Evaluate

Kentucky car accident attorney will know the specific evidence needed to defend your case. If no settlement can be reached with the insurance company, your attorney can take your case to trial where several factors will be considered:

  • Whether the police issued any citations to any party.
  • If no citation was issued, your Kentucky car accident attorney may be able to show that the driver was not driving safely according to road conditions and other traffic in the area.
  • Testimony of eyewitnesses.
  • Photos taken at the scene of the accident will show the position of the cars as well as any unsafe conditions, such as a bush blocking a street sign or line of sight.
  • In a rear-end car accidents, the rear driver is generally presumed negligent unless there were extenuating circumstances such as being stopped at a green light for no reason, switching lanes abruptly and then slowing down, or a stationary lead car is rear-ended by another stationary car due to being hit by a third car.
  • In the case of an accident at an intersection, who was turning left and who had the right-of-way are prevailing factors in determining fault.
  • Video surveillance tapes that might exist at the accident site that were in use by law enforcement or local businesses.

Even if you were involved in a minor fender bender, it is still within your best interest to consult an attorney. An experienced Kentucky car accident attorney will know how to assess your claim and determine the best course of action. If you injured in a car accident that you believe was the fault of another driver, contact an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney at Edwards & Kautz Law Firm. Call us at 270-908-4914 to schedule a free legal consultation.