Police authorities are responsible to create a police report after investigating the cause of a motor vehicle crash. Sometime, the police may be required to shut down the road or highway where the traffic accident occurred. However, accidents are not always easy to figure out who was at fault in the accident. Thankfully in life threatening accident, the investigating police agency must call the accident reconstruction team to determine how the accident happened.
Determining liability in a car accident like or not is an important part of filing a claim for damages, as those damages—whether pursued through the insurance company’s claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit—will only be paid to you if you as the injured plaintiff can prove the insured was negligent. In some accident cases, the blame is clear, such as in most rear-end accidents. However, in other accident scenarios there may be more than one driver at fault.
If you were injured in an auto accident, your car accident lawyer will help you investigate and identify who is at fault and all of their insurance resources that may be available for paying your injury claim. Here is an overview at some common car accident scenarios and the process for evaluating driver behavior that goes into determining who was at fault.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of traffic accidents people are involved in, which in years past accounted for 1.7 million crashes, around 1,700 deaths, and 500,000 injuries every year, according to the Washington Post report. Rear end type accident occurs when one car collides into the back of another car on front of it. The vast majority of these crashes happen due to the driver of the following car following too closely, and/or failing to pay attention to the roadway ahead of him or her, or excessive speed in bad weather.
Common sense would dictate that the person in the following car is always responsible for the rear-end collision, as traffic laws of most states, including Michigan requires that the drivers must leave enough space between their cars and cars in front of them at all times to come to a safe stop. Although this is generally true, there are some limited circumstances where both drivers could share responsibility or even a third party. Spotting the following common scenarios is important:
Left-turn accidents occur when one vehicle is going straight through the intersection while another car is making a left turn and collides with the front of the straight-moving vehicle. Like rear-end accidents, liability is generally easy to determine in left turn accidents. Left-turning vehicles have a lower priority in this scenario, in which the driver of a vehicle is required to give way to vehicles approaching, meaning that—unless there is a green arrow or oncoming traffic is clear —they must yield to those moving straight through the intersection. A study from the National Highway Traffic Administration discovered that the left-turning driver most often committed a critical error, such as “turning with an obstructed view,” “misjudged gap or speed,” “inadequate surveillance,” or “false assumption of the other driver’s intentions.” These are all driver errors that place liability for an accident on the hands of the left-turning driver. Is there ever any accident scenario where the other driver is at fault, though?
Sure, Yes. While rare, the driver of the straight-moving car may lose the right of way speeding at an intersection under Michigan law. In this accident scenario, in which the driver of the vehicle going straight was traveling at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit, making it impossible for the turning driver perhaps to either see car in time or to calculate how much time the turning car has to complete the turn. Here is another example:
Historically, one of the deadliest types of accidents is a head-on collision. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, head-on collisions in 2017 accounted for 56 percent of the passenger vehicle deaths from traffic accidents. These accidents, often known as frontal-impact collisions, occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide head-on.
Causes of head-on accidents include a drunk driver, driver going wrong-way on one way road, driver crosses over into oncoming traffic lane, or even those driver’s that have been involved in a crash which causes the vehicle to roll over or be deflected into the oncoming traffic lanes. Fault for a head-on collision generally resides with the individual whose vehicle has departed from the lane or has entered wrong-way traffic. However, there may be additional liable parties in situation where the vehicle forced out of the lane due to another prior car accident.
Some common scenarios involving head-on collisions include:
Also known as T-bone accidents, a side-impact collision or angle collision occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of the other at a roughly 90-degree angle. Injuries to occupants on the side of the vehicle that got hit are often quite severe, as there are no adequate structural barriers protecting the occupant, such as the steel body frame, to protect the individual from the brunt of the crash. This type of collision almost always occurs in an intersection accident and is generally caused by negligence on the part of one of the drivers, including running a red light, disobeying a stop sign, failure to yield the right-of-way, drunk driving, or distracted driving. Some common examples of liability in a side-impact collision include:
A sideswipe accident is one collision where two vehicles that are going in the same direction make contact with the side portion of each other’s vehicle while going in the same direction. This type of accident is particularly dangerous on the M-10 freeway, where vehicles travel at faster speeds and there is a chance that each driver didn’t realize what the other was doing. Liability for damages caused in a sideswipe accident will depend on who left the lane first or who had the right-of-way in the lane of travel. The behavior of each driver leading up to the crash will be assessed accordingly, using driver statements, eye witness states, debris, and vehicle damage to determine fault. Some common scenarios involving sideswipe accidents and liability include:
Single-vehicle accidents are those in which only one vehicle sustains damage, even if other vehicles are involved. Historically, a high percentage of passenger vehicle deaths in traffic accidents occur in single-vehicle crashes.
While in most cases, it is presumed that the driver of the single-vehicle accident crash is at fault, this isn’t always true. There are many ways in which a single vehicle accident can be caused by the actions or negligence of others. Here are some common single vehicle accident scenarios along with potential driver liability:
As you can see, there are many ways that a driver or business entity can be held liable after an accident. An experienced car accident attorney will help you to investigate and identify all potentially liable parties, which will provide you with the best chance to recover damages in accidents caused by the negligence of others. In Michigan, proving negligence is key to a successful outcome for your personal injury claim. To establish the element of negligence, you must prove the following:
Looking For A Car Accident Attorney?
By contacting an experienced car accident lawyer they can help you understand your legal options, including whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit. Call the Joseph Dedvukaj Firm today for a free consultation 1-866-HIRE-JOE.