How Do You Prove Fault After a Car Accident at an Intersection in Pennsylvania?
Car accidents at intersections often result in significant damage and serious injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident at an intersection in Pennsylvania, recovering your losses will likely involve proving that the other driver involved in your accident was to blame. While you may have “no-fault” coverage under your auto insurance policy, this insurance doesn’t cover all types of accident-related losses. To recover the full compensation you deserve, you will need to prove that someone else (i.e., the other driver) was at fault in the collision.
So, how do you prove fault after a car accident at an intersection in Pennsylvania?
Car accidents at intersections can present some unique challenges when it comes to proving fault. For example, when two cars collide head-on, it won’t necessarily be clear from the aftermath which driver was to blame. But, car accidents at intersections often present additional opportunities for proving fault as well. For example, these accidents are more likely to have witnesses, and they are increasingly being captured on video.
Proving Fault After a Car Accident at an Intersection
Here is an overview of the process of proving fault after a car accident at an intersection in Pennsylvania:
Collecting As Much Information at the Accident Scene as Possible
Any time you are involved in a car accident, it is important to try to gather as much information as possible at the scene. If you can’t, that’s okay—but if you can, this information could be extremely helpful when it comes to proving your legal rights. For example, if you have any of the following from the scene of the accident, you should keep them in a safe place until you can share them with your attorney:
- Cell phone photos or videos
- Debris from your vehicle or any damaged personal items
- Eye witnesses’ contact information
- The other driver’s vehicle and insurance information
- The police report
It is also a good idea to take detailed notes. If you believe the other driver was at fault, write down why—and include as many details as possible. If you got hit head-on or T-boned, did you have a green light? If you got rear-ended, did it seem like the driver who hit you was distracted or planning to run the light? The more information you can write down to share with your lawyer, the better.
Sending an Investigator to Gather Additional Evidence
Once you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will most likely send an investigator to the intersection to gather any additional evidence that may be available. This could include not only additional debris on the side of the road, but also skid marks, evidence of weather and road conditions, traffic signal patterns, and anything else that could help with proving your legal rights. Since many of these forms of evidence can disappear, it is important that you speak with a lawyer about your case as soon as possible.
Examining Each Vehicle Involved in the Crash
Along with sending an investigator to the intersection where your accident happened, your lawyer may also hire experts to examine each of the vehicles involved. The location and extent of the damage to each vehicle can provide key insights into which driver was responsible for causing the crash.
Of course, this means that you need to hire a lawyer before your vehicle (and the other driver’s vehicle) gets repaired. While your lawyer can use the repair shop’s estimate and photos if necessary, it will be best if your lawyer can have each vehicle inspected by someone who has your best interests in mind.
Talking to Witnesses
If there were witnesses to your intersection accident, your lawyer may be able to talk to these witnesses to gather additional information. If you don’t know exactly what happened, they may be able to fill in the details. Or, if you know what happened and eyewitnesses can corroborate your version of the events, this can go a long way toward convincing the insurance companies to accept liability. Either way, statements from eyewitnesses could play a key role in your claim for just compensation.
Determining What Additional Evidence is Available
In addition to taking these steps, your lawyer will also determine what additional forms of evidence are available to prove fault in your intersection accident. There are lots of possibilities, including:
- Traffic camera footage from the intersection
- Surveillance camera footage from a nearby business
- Cell phone records (if the other driver was texting, calling or scrolling social media)
- Receipts from a bar or restaurant (if the other driver was drunk)
- Employment records (if the other driver was working at the time of the accident)
When an experienced lawyer takes your case, he or she will examine all potential sources of evidence to prove fault. Sometimes it will be possible to obtain this evidence through informal requests, but it will also be necessary to go to court in some cases. Your lawyer can determine what steps are necessary to prove your legal rights, and then your lawyer can take these steps while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies
In the majority of cases, proving fault and recovering just compensation after an intersection accident involves dealing with the insurance companies. If your lawyer can convince the insurance companies to accept liability, then going to court may not be necessary. Once the insurance companies accept liability, your lawyer can shift focus to proving your accident-related costs—and then your lawyer can work to negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf.
Get Legal Help After an Intersection Accident in Pennsylvania
If you need help filing a claim after an intersection accident in Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact us promptly. With offices in Allentown, Bethlehem, Doylestown, Easton and Stroudsburg, we represent accident victims statewide. To speak with an attorney about your legal rights for free, call 888-777-7098 or tell us how we can reach you online now.