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How Do You Determine Who is at Fault in an Auto Accident?

March 02, 2020
determining fault in a car accident Pittsburgh, PA

Immediately following an accident, your body is running off adrenaline. You’re likely left in a state of shock and wondering what happened. Always stop, get to a safe spot to pull over, and call the authorities after you’ve been involved in a crash.

After that, it’s time to start figuring out who or what caused your accident. Learn everything you need to know about the common causes of car accidents and how fault is determined below.

What Causes Car Accidents?

The average American gets behind the wheel almost every day. From driving to work and school to running errands, that’s a lot of time spent driving every year. Here are some of the leading causes of car accidents across the nation:

  • Speeding
  • Intoxicated drivers
  • Distracted driving
  • Rain or adverse weather
  • Defective car parts
  • Breaking traffic laws (running red lights, reckless driving)
  • Tailgating
  • Potholes
  • Wild animals
  • Construction zones

While accidents can happen as a result of defective parts, most of them are caused by human error.

How is Fault Determined After an Accident?

So, how is fault determined after a crash happens? Most often, an investigation into the cause begins the moment the police arrive.

The authorities will document the accident on a police report, and they’ll ask both drivers what happened. Next, they’ll ask any witnesses for statements about what they saw. They’ll compare all these statements with the physical evidence. They’ll gather this physical evidence by looking at both vehicles. Based on what they find, they’ll make an initial determination of fault.

The investigation won’t end there, though. Depending on who is potentially at fault, insurance companies may choose to investigate further. If you begin to seek out a lawsuit, then both parties involved may launch their own investigations, too. More evidence may be found through video surveillance, dash cam footage, discoveries made by mechanics or through other means.

If fault isn’t immediately apparent, then who or what caused the accident may get intensely debated during a court trial. Both sides will have an opportunity to present their case. The ultimate determination of who or what was at-fault will determine who is financially responsible for the losses associated with the auto accident.

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pittsburgh, Beaver, Uniontown, Greensburg, New Castle, and throughout New Jersey. Call 412-471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 310 Grant Street, Suite 720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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