Will The Damage To My Vehicle Help Determine Fault After My Accident?

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of accidental injuries in the Commonwealth. As a driver, you can do everything right and you could still fall victim to a crash. The Virginia Highway Safety Office (VHSO) reports that there were more than 125,000 accidents, more than 65,000 injuries, and 827 traffic fatalities in 2019 alone. After a car wreck, victims deserve money damages to cover any necessary medical costs and to pay their bills. Your right to receive compensation will vary, in large part, on who is found to be at fault for the accident. You may be wondering: Will the vehicle damage be used to figure out who is at fault for a crash? The short answer is ‘yes’—automobile damage is one of several factors that must be assessed during an investigation. In this blog post, our Hillsville car accident attorneys explain how the damage to your vehicle could be used to help determine fault after a crash.

How Fault Is Determined After A Car Crash

Following a traffic collision in Hillsville, Wytheville, or anywhere else in Virginia, an investigation will be conducted to determine fault. Several different types of evidence and information can be used to figure out who caused the wreck and why it happened. Vehicle damage is an important factor, but not the only factor. Evidence includes:

  • Police Report: Law enforcement generally responds to a serious crash. The police are responsible for writing a report that documents some preliminary findings. In some cases, one (or more) of the drivers will be cited for a traffic violation.
  • Testimony of the Drivers: The statements made by the drivers—both at the scene and later on—can be used as evidence to help establish liability.
  • Witness Statements: The testimony of third parties, including passengers in the vehicle and other passers-by who witnessed the crash, also provide evidence.
  • Photographs and Analysis of Vehicle Damage: Finally, there should be a careful investigation of the photographs of the accident and the vehicle damage. The damage can often provide significant insight into exactly what happened. As an example, the vehicle damage may tell us where the two cars collided.

The reality is that car accident cases are complicated. No one piece of evidence is definitive in determining fault after a disputed crash. Instead, the totality of the circumstances matter. All of the evidence has to be put together to tell a coherent and compelling story as to what happened and why. In other words, you need to build a strong legal case that establishes fault. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced Virginia car accident attorney as soon as possible after a serious motor vehicle wreck.

Car Accident Liability In Virginia: Why Fault Matters

Fault matters. In Virginia, car accident liability is based on fault. In effect, this means that the party found responsible for causing a collision is also legally responsible for covering the damages. To bring a successful car accident injury claim against another driver, a truck company, a vehicle manufacturer, or any other defendant, you must prove fault. Notably, fault is even more important in Virginia than in most other states. The Commonwealth is one of the last jurisdictions that still use a contributory negligence standard of liability. Cornell Law School defines contributory negligence as a common-law rule that states that an injured victim is “totally barred from recovery if they were in any way negligent in causing the accident.”

The Jackson Law Group Will Protect Your Rights

We are prepared to launch a comprehensive, proactive investigation of your accident. At The Jackson Law Group, our Virginia car crash attorneys are prepared to take immediate action to gather all evidence and information needed to prove fault in your case. Our goal is to put you and your family in the very best position to maximize your financial compensation after an automobile accident.

Call Our Virginia Auto Accident Lawyers For Immediate Help

At The Jackson Law Group, our Virginia car crash injury attorneys fight hard to protect the rights of victims and their loved ones. If you have any questions about determining fault after an accident, we are more than happy to get working on your behalf. Contact us now for your free case evaluation and assessment. From our office locations in Hillsville and Wytheville, we are strong advocates for injured victims throughout the surrounding area, including in Carroll County and Wythe County.