More than 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year. These accidents are the leading cause of death in the U.S., resulting in the death of more than 38,000 people each year, and over 3 million seriously injured or disabled.
Unfortunately, multi-car accidents are all too common, and many times it’s hard to know who is at fault. Making things worse is the fact that insurance companies may delay claims until they determine who was at fault.
This is where professional legal representation can help. We’ll get back to that later, but first, let’s discuss what to do if you’re unsure who is the at-fault party in an accident.
Why Who Hit Who Matters
There are a few distinct reasons why it matters who hits who in a car accident. One reason, and the most important, is that it can help to determine who is at fault.
Another reason is that the amount of damage may be different depending on which direction the impact came from. If a driver hits another head-on, the damage is likely to be much worse than if the driver had rear-ended the other car.
Finally, the location of the impact can also be a factor. If a driver hits another car in the side, it is more likely to cause severe injury than if the driver had hit the other car in the front or rear.
Methods of Determining Who Hit Who
There are a few different ways to determine who hit who in a car accident. Some of those methods include:
- The police report. The police report helps determine who was at fault in a car accident. It will list the names of the drivers and passengers, as well as any witnesses. It will also describe the damage to the vehicles and the injuries to the people involved.
- Eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses can help determine who hit who by providing information about what they saw, offering information about the speed of the cars, and whether or not one of the drivers was recklessly driving.
- Pictures from the scene. In a car accident, pictures from the scene can help determine who hit who. The position of the vehicles, the damage to the vehicles and the location of the impact can all be helpful clues.
- Your injuries. In a car accident, the severity of the injuries can play a role in determining who hit who. If one driver sustains much more serious injuries than the other, it’s likely that that driver was hit by the other.
- Surveillance cameras. If there is a surveillance camera present, it can be used to help determine who hit who. The footage from the camera can be used to see the position of the cars and who was in what lane.
- Forensic analysis. Forensic analysis can help to determine which driver was at fault by looking at the evidence left at the scene. This evidence can include skid marks, damage to the vehicles, and the position of the vehicles after the accident. By analyzing this evidence, investigators can often determine which driver was responsible for the accident.
No matter how fault is determined, it’s an important factor in establishing damages and ultimately how the accident claim will be settled.
Possible Damages in a Car Accident
Car accidents can cause a number of damages, including physical, emotional, and financial damages.
- Physical damages. These are the most common types of damage caused by car accidents. These can include injuries to the body, such as cuts, bruises, or broken bones. In more serious cases, physical damages can include paralysis or even death.
- Emotional damages. Anyone who’s been in an accident can testify that it can be traumatic. You might experience an emotional rollercoaster of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional damages can also lead to problems in relationships, such as marital problems or difficulty trusting people.
- Financial damages. These can include the cost of medical bills, lost wages from time off work, or the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged car. In some cases, car accidents can also lead to legal problems, such as lawsuits.
These damages are all eligible for financial compensation. While insurance plays an important role in making things right after an accident, they don’t always get things right.
What if the Insurance Company Doesn’t Compensate Me Fairly?
If you have suffered an injury in a disputed car accident and the other driver’s insurance company is giving you the runaround, you may be wondering how to get the best possible settlement from your insurance company. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Gather all medical records and documentation related to any injuries you suffered
- Get a written statement from your doctor detailing your injuries and prognosis
- Produce and organize any photos you have of the accident
- Be prepared to negotiate
- Consult with a lawyer
Insurance companies are not in business to make sure you get the most compensation. If you feel like you are not getting a fair settlement offer, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
If your case ends up going to trial against the insurance company, a skilled personal injury attorney can ask the court to award monetary damages for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. This is a monetary award intended to compensate an accident victim for injuries that have affected their normal everyday activities.
Here at Torgenson Law, we understand that being involved in a multi-car accident can be a frustrating and challenging time for you and your family. We put all the legal resources at our disposal to work on your case because we care about your claim and will work tirelessly to provide the best settlement from the insurance company. Contact us today for a free consultation.