Proving Liability in a Car Accident

What Does It Mean to Be Liable?

You may have heard the term “legal liability” in reference to a car accident and other personal injury cases. The concept of liability refers to who is responsible for the accident. Put another way, if you are found liable, you are legally considered to be at fault. Being found liable for a car accident typically means that the party at fault is responsible for the costs associated with the accident, such as property damage and medical bills.

To be found liable, there must be proof that negligence or another form of wrongdoing was involved in causing the accident. Below we will take a look at the process of proving liability in a car accident and how our attorneys work to help clients receive the compensation they need.

How Do You Prove Who Is at Fault for a Car Accident?

Determining the cause of an accident is difficult. There are frequently many factors that contribute to car accidents, including weather, vehicle condition, traffic patterns, and time of day. Consequently, no accident is the same, and a careful investigation of the situation at hand is crucial to ensure that the right parties are found legally liable and how far that liability extends.

Information used to help determine liability for a car accident can include:

  • Accident and police reports
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Photos and videos of the accident
  • Vehicle damage reports

Pennsylvania’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule

Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative fault system when determining who is liable for a car accident. According to §7102, an injured party can still receive compensation even if they are determined to be guilty of contributory negligence, provided they were not more negligent than the defendant. However, the amount awarded in compensation will be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence they, the plaintiff, are found guilty of.

The modified comparative fault statute can make pursuing personal injury cases complicated, especially when multiple defendants are involved. As such, it is always recommended that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney (like Golomb Legal.) who is familiar with and experienced in handling cases in Pennsylvania.

What to Do After an Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident, what you say matters. You want to avoid accepting liability for the accident, regardless of what you think happened. As we have previously mentioned, many factors can contribute to a car accident, and something that you may feel is your responsibility really isn’t. Accepting responsibility for something that you are not liable for can drastically affect the outcome of your personal injury case and can impact your ability to recover the compensation you need and which you are otherwise entitled to.

After a car accident, you should:

  • Call for emergency medical treatment if anyone is injured
  • Report your accident to law enforcement and file a police report
  • Collect the personal, vehicle, and insurance information for all other people involved
  • Collect the personal contact info for any witnesses to the accident
  • Take pictures of videos of the accident site and vehicles involved if possible
  • Document the accident in as much detail as possible

After a car accident, whether you are injured or not, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, like ours at Golomb Legal.

What Not to Do After an Accident

After being involved in a car accident, it’s important to know what not to do. As previously mentioned, you should never accept or admit fault for the accident. It's also advisable to refrain from discussing details of the incident with anyone other than your attorney, as they may end up using your statements against you in court. This includes avoiding posting on social media about your accident. Do not sign any documents presented by the other party or their insurance company, as these could potentially be used against you later.

We cannot stress enough that getting adequate legal counsel after a car accident is one of the most important steps you can take after a car accident. Their expertise and knowledge of the law can help you manage the legal complexities that can arise from a car accident, such as ensuring that fair compensation is received from a settlement or award. Depending on the jurisdiction in which the incident takes place, filing paperwork immediately following an accident may be necessary; an experienced lawyer can guide you through this process, as well as help you make sure any evidence related to the incident is preserved and recorded properly.

If you were involved in a car accident, Golomb Legal. can help. Our attorneys provide legal representation to residents in Pennsylvania and across the country. We are prepared to help you with your case today.