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Who is at fault in a car accident?

When there is a car accident in Ohio that involves multiple vehicles, as the one mentioned in last week's blog post, it may be difficult to determine who is at fault for which portion of the accident. Allocating fault is an essential component of a legal claim arising out of a car accident -- it is important to be able to prove who was responsible for the accident causing the victim's injuries and therefore should be held liable. It may be easy to point to a negligent driver, but pointing is not enough -- it must be supported by evidence.

When pursuing an insurance claim, the first place to turn to for evidence regarding the car accident is the police reports. Police generally always turn up at the scene of the accident if it involved injuries. They make a report about the accident, and this report may be the most important piece of evidence insurers and investigators require. In fact, many insurers may not even begin addressing the issue without seeing a car accident report.

Fault can also be ascertained by the type of accident the driver is involved in. For example, rear-end collisions are a type of accident in which the driver who has hit the vehicle from behind is often at fault, especially if the vehicle in front was stopped. In fact, the assumption is that the driver driving behind should always leave enough space in between vehicles so as to brake safely. Another example of accidents in which fault is almost always easily ascertained is in the case of left-turn collisions -- generally these types of crashes are often the fault of the car turning left.

It may be possible that more than one driver is at fault and in some instances even the primary driver may have contributed to the crash in some way. Allocating and understanding fault is essential for filing a personal injury claim. Since this post cannot guarantee how fault will be assigned in any specific case, an attorney may be able to guide accident victims through the process and conduct an investigation regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine fault.

Source: FindLaw, "Car accident liability: proving fault in a car crash," Accessed on May 10, 2016

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