Can Fault be Determined by Car Accident Damage?

September 8, 2021

It's often difficult to determine fault in a car accident. Even if you have some evidence, such as witness statements, it can be hard to prove exactly what happened and where the truth lies. If there is any sort of damage to either vehicle, this may provide some insight into who was at fault for causing the collision.

Analyzing vehicle damage to help determine fault can be a highly technical process, and it can often require the help of accident reconstruction experts. You might need to supplement the vehicle damage with other proof of liability, as well. Always speak with a Ventura car accident attorney who can help.

What is the Legal Definition of Fault?

Fault is simply the liability for causing an avoidable accident. A car accident is considered an at-fault accident if someone violates any traffic laws or is otherwise negligent and causes the crash. In some cases, more than one party might be to blame.

As an accident victim, you might know that the other driver caused your crash because you saw them run the stop sign or fail to yield the right-of-way to your vehicle. However, your word is not enough, and you need evidence to show the insurance company who was to blame and why.

How Does Car Damage Affect a Fault Determination?

When both vehicles are damaged, it is difficult to determine fault. However, this does not mean that blame cannot be assigned for the accident. As stated by the California Department of Insurance:

"Even if both cars are totally wrecked in an accident and there were two drivers involved, liability will likely still exist."

You can often help demonstrate how the accident occurred due to the vehicle damage in question. For example, if the side of your car is crushed, it is likely that another car sideswiped or broadsided you. If you have significant damage to the back of your car, it can show the other driver did not slow down or stop in time to avoid the collision. While damage is not always conclusive on its own, it can help to paint the picture of what happened and who was to blame.

When Should You Hire an Attorney?

It is important to remember that accident claims are not always straightforward. Even if there's evidence of damage on both cars and liability seems obvious at first glance, this does not mean that an investigation should be done in order to determine the true cause of the collision.

Often, auto insurance companies will try to deny liability on the part of their policyholders. The adjuster might demand additional evidence of fault, and it is important to have an attorney ready to do so.

Contact a Ventura Car Accident Lawyer Today

It's possible for fault to be determined by car accident damage, and hiring an attorney from Bamieh & de Smeth, PLC, is best to know your rights and how you can prove your claim. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation.