two frustrated people at a car accident scene

 

Car accidents can be traumatic and confusing, leaving victims with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. Fortunately, they’re usually entitled to compensation. Before they can secure it, though, they must determine—and then prove—fault.

While Michigan operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means your carrier will cover your damages in most cases, regardless of who was responsible, there are exceptions. Consequently, for collisions involving serious injuries or death, fault determination becomes critical.

If you were seriously hurt in an accident and you want to hold the liable party accountable, read on. Here are some key considerations in establishing fault that you’ll need to keep in mind:

 

1. Police Reports and Investigations

After a car accident, the responding law enforcement officers will file a report that includes their assessment of the scene and statements from involved parties and witnesses. This report can play a significant role in fault determination.

2. Witness Statements and Testimonies

Eyewitness accounts of the accident can be invaluable. Collecting statements from those who saw the incident occur can provide an independent perspective and help establish fault.

3. Traffic Violations and Citations

Traffic violations, such as running a red light or speeding, can be strong indicators of fault. If one driver is cited for a traffic violation, it may weigh heavily in determining fault.

4. Expert Testimonies and Accident Reconstruction

In complex cases, accident reconstruction experts may be called upon to recreate the accident scene and offer professional opinions on how the collision occurred. Their input can be essential in understanding fault.

A Note About Comparative Negligence

Michigan employs a comparative negligence system, meaning that fault can be shared among multiple parties. It’s possible for both drivers involved in an accident to be assigned a percentage of fault. Your compensation will be adjusted according to your degree of responsibility for the accident.

Proving Fault

Once you determine fault, you will need to present compelling evidence to protect your interests and seek fair compensation for any injuries or property damage sustained. This evidence may include photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries, as well as the contact information of witnesses who can corroborate your account of the incident.

Additionally, medical records detailing the extent of your injuries, treatment, and associated expenses are crucial. In cases involving emotional distress or mental trauma, psychological evaluations and documented accounts of emotional suffering can also be powerful pieces of evidence.

Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney in Michigan

Determining fault in a car accident in Michigan can be a complex process, but with the right guidance and expertise, you can seek the compensation and justice you deserve. At Smith & Johnson, we’re committed to providing compassionate support and unwavering advocacy to accident victims. Contact Tim Smith (tsmith@smith-johnson.com) or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Michigan.