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Establishing liability after a PA motor vehicle accident

After a motor vehicle accident, proving which driver was responsible for the collision involves many factors.
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    November 03, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Recently, a dangerous combination of factors -- distracted driving and drunk driving --caused a two-car accident in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

The woman who allegedly caused the accident was both under the influence of alcohol and distracted at the time of the crash. Reportedly, a law enforcement official who arrived at the scene detected alcohol on the motorist's breath. She agreed to a field sobriety test, which indicated she was under the influence of alcohol. While she would not state how many drinks she had consumed that evening, she told officers that she had been drinking. In addition, when officers first arrived at the scene, she stated she could not maintain control of her vehicle because she had been talking on her cellphone.

The woman was arrested and now faces charges of careless driving and driving under the influence.

While the responsible party in this situation may have been easily identifiable, in most cases it is wise to obtain some proof to establish fault after a motor vehicle accident.

Tips for proving fault after a car accident

In many motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving personal injuries or property damage, the police will be called to the scene. During the course of the ensuing investigation, the law enforcement officers will obtain witness statements and make notes regarding the scene of the incident. The police officer will also typically include an explanation of his or her opinion regarding the accident. For instance, if the police officer observed skid marks on the road, he or she may make a notation regarding the likely speed of the vehicle at the time of the collision.

These police reports, which will also indicate whether a traffic citation was issued, are valuable pieces of evidence when proving which party was at fault after an accident.

In addition, it is wise to rely on the traffic laws of the state, to determine questions regarding, for instance, which party had the right of way. In Pennsylvania, the "Rules of the Road," are available online to determine general traffic rules in the state.

In certain situations, it can be easier to prove fault than others, based on general rules regarding the right of way and safe following distances. For instance, if your vehicle is involved in a rear-end accident, more often than not the vehicle that hit you will be found at fault. Drivers are expected to maintain a safe stopping distance from the car ahead of them. When a vehicle hits another from behind, typically the presumption is made that the driver was not traveling at a safe distance.

In addition, motorists making left-hand turns are generally considered at fault, as vehicles traveling straight through intersections typically have the right of way.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, establishing who was at fault will affect your insurance premiums and your ability to obtain just compensation for the harm caused. A skilled Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will be able to establish a strong case regarding who should be held liable for the damage and injuries caused by the accident.

Article provided by Aaroe Law Offices
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