What Types of Evidence Prove Fault in a Car Accident Claim?

Personal injury cases are founded on the legal theory of negligence. This theory is comprised of four distinct elements, all of which must be proven before you can recover compensation for your damages. Fault, which is the correlation between the defendant’s actions or inactions, and the injuries sustained by the plaintiff, is one of these elements. Proving fault usually requires numerous pieces of strong evidence, such as pictures of the crash scene and eyewitness statements, which many victims might not have access to or even know how to get. For this reason, it is always a good idea to discuss your potential claim with one of the experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp who can help you collect the evidence necessary to prove fault.

Why is it Important to Prove Fault?

Fault is the most critical element of negligence. Without it, you don’t have a case because you have failed to establish a connection between the negligent party and the damages incurred by the victim. If you can prove that the other party’s negligence was the cause of your accident, but are unable to connect the accident directly to your injuries, it is unlikely that you are going to obtain the financial compensation you would have had you been able to link the two. For example, if another car rear-ends your car, causation is not an issue. However, in some injury cases, which vehicle of the two caused an impact with another vehicle may be in question, and if so, this is an example of a causation issue. In a chain reaction rear-ending scenario, with two impacts to your vehicle, which of the chain reaction car drivers was negligent may be a causation issue also.

With the help of an experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorney, you can concentrate on your recovery while your attorney collects evidence to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. This evidence may include:

Material Evidence

Material evidence of the collision could help you prove the other driver’s negligent actions caused your accident:

  • Video of the accident: If your accident took place near a business or at an intersection where there were traffic cameras, red light cameras, or surveillance cameras, one of them may have recorded the impact. This video footage could help show that the at-fault party was driving recklessly, speeding, or committing some other traffic violation when the accident occurred. 
  • Cell phone records: If you suspect that distracted driving played a role in your accident, obtaining the at-fault party’s cell phone records could be vital. These records will indicate whether or not the driver was on their phone, sending texts, making calls, or using an app when the accident happened. If so, the records could be a crucial piece of evidence that supports your claim of negligence, and a subpoena can be issued to attempt to secure such evidence.
  • Vehicle Damage: Oftentimes, fault for an accident can be proven through the location of the damage to your vehicle. For example, if you were hit from behind by a speeding driver, the damage to the rear of your vehicle and the front of theirs can support your claim. 

Medical Evidence

Seeking prompt medical attention following a car accident is not only essential for your health but is also essential when it comes to proving that your injuries were caused by the collision. Medical evidence that can help you prove the accident was the direct cause of your injuries includes:  

  • Diagnostic imaging tests: CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, and other diagnostic imaging tests can act as proof of your accident-related injuries. 
  • Physical therapy records: Medical records from your doctor indicating that physical therapy is needed to properly aid your full recovery can be useful in demonstrating the extent of your injuries.
  • Additional medical records: Medical records that predate your accident will show that the injuries for which you are seeking compensation are recent, did not exist before the incident, and can help link your new injuries to the accident.  

Eyewitness and Expert Witness Statements

Although material evidence is necessary to ensure the success of your claim, it sometimes needs to be augmented by the testimony of an expert witness. For instance, testimony provided by your doctor could help explain the severity of your injuries and how they were caused by the accident. 

Bystanders who saw the accident might be able to give factual testimony that affirms your version of events leading up to the accident, such as if the other driver was exhibiting signs of intoxication or texting while driving. 

What if I Have a Pre-Existing Condition?

Although accident victims with pre-existing conditions or injuries are still entitled to financial compensation, they often have a more challenging time recovering what they are owed. If you have a preexisting condition or injury, you must disclose this information to your Virginia Beach car accident attorney as soon as possible. This ensures that they have all the necessary information they need to build your case and prevents any surprises from popping up. Any information you share with your attorney will remain confidential until you file a lawsuit and discovery begins.

An experienced injury attorney can ensure that you receive fair compensation for any pre-existing injuries that were aggravated by the accident as well as any new injuries. For instance, if you previously had hip surgery and your car accident caused new symptoms or extended your recovery time, your attorney can assist with proving these circumstances.

Do You Have Questions About Fault in a Car Accident Claim?

The Virginia Beach car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been helping car accident victims collect effective evidence, prove fault. and build strong cases for financial recoveries since 1985, like the $3.5 million jury award we won for a woman who sustained irreversible brain damage when she was hit by a drunk driver (handled by a former law firm attorney). If another driver’s negligence caused your injuries, contact a member of our legal team to discuss your case and learn what options are open to you. Schedule a free consultation by calling (833) 997-1774 or filling out our simple contact form. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Norfolk.