According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012 statistics list 5,615,000 police-reported car crashes in the United States. To prove car accident liability, you need to have proper documentation that supports your claim that the other driver was at fault.
Proper documentation used to prove fault in a car wreck includes:
- police reports;
- photos of the accident;
- accident reconstruction (may require expert testimony); and
So keep track of all paper and digital documentation as you collect it. If you hire a lawyer, always inform your lawyer of any new information you learn or new documents you collect.
Collecting Evidence at the Scene to Prove Fault
You can do some basic evidence collection to help prove the other driver is at fault while still on the scene of the accident:
- Take photos of the scene. Photograph the vehicles as well as a wide shot of the scene that demonstrates positions of the cars, if possible.
- Don’t talk too much. Keep your conversation with the other driver limited to essential exchanges. Offer aid, call the police, and exchange contact and insurance information. Otherwise, the other driver’s insurer may use your statements against you, such as a casual, “I’m okay,” comment.
- Gather witness contact information so you can contact them later to provide statements.
- Ask how to obtain a copy of the police report.
How Pennsylvania’s Fault Laws May Impact Car Accident Liability
Pennsylvania is a ‘choice no-fault’ state, meaning drivers may choose between limited and full tort coverage. Limited tort means policyholders may only file a lawsuit for pain and suffering damages for serious injuries while full tort does not restrict rights to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering or other damages.
Some drivers may first obtain compensation via their no-fault insurance, then may file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, where they must be able to prove fault. In addition to proving the other driver’s liability through the evidence mentioned above, drivers should also keep in mind how their own fault could factor into the case.
Pennsylvania uses a modified comparative fault system. As long as a driver is less than 51 percent at fault, he or she can recover compensation for damages. Any driver with 51 percent or more fault is barred from recovery. Further, any percentage of fault will proportionally reduce the claimant’s damages.
Drivers must be prepared to address any accusations that they are partially at fault for the accident. Evidence like that mentioned above can help, and drivers should contact an attorney to further review how to establish car accident liability.
Contacting a Lawyer
Don’t let Pennsylvania fault laws keep you from getting the car wreck compensation you deserve. Cordisco & Saile LLC helps car accident victims in the Warminster area and we understand how to effectively prove an at-fault driver’s liability using proper evidence. Call Cordisco & Saile LLC to set up a free consultation at 215-642-2335, or fill out our contact form.