Yes, vehicle damage is one of several factors that a car accident lawyer will investigate to establish which party is liable. Because vehicle damage is rarely absolute proof of fault, that lawyer will also review statements from eyewitnesses, reports of traffic and road conditions, police reports, surveillance video– and any other evidence that might be available.
At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P. C., we have represented New Jersey car accident victims in personal injury lawsuits for more than 45 years. Our experience gives our clients a substantial advantage against drivers who might argue that they were not negligent or did not cause the accident.
Vehicle damages might show how an accident happened without establishing fault
Certain types of car accidents leave clear damage patterns to the vehicles involved. For example, when one car has extensive front-end damage and the other car’s back end is pushed in, the accident was likely a rear-end collision. Likewise, front-end damage on one car and side damage on another suggests a “T-Bone” type accident. These damage patterns, however, do not definitively establish liability. They do not reveal which party had the right of way or whether either party violated any traffic laws. A skillful car accident attorney will combine all available evidence to determine who was at fault.
Determining fault is critical for the recovery of the largest available damages award
New Jersey drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance as part of the state’s “no-fault” auto insurance rules. However, it might not be adequate to cover the full expenses of severe injuries. If this is the case, the injured party will need to file a car accident lawsuit to recover the excess amount.
Under the state’s comparative negligence laws, the amount that an injured driver can recover will be reduced in proportion to their fault. If the accident was a rear-end collision, the driver of the car that was hit might be partially responsible. For example, if they stopped suddenly without a good reason or had broken brake lights.
An experienced car accident lawyer will anticipate these and other matters to assign full responsibility to the negligent party and collect maximum damages for the injured party.
Collecting and securing evidence will help to establish fault
A car accident victim should collect as much evidence of the collision as possible– under the circumstances. This may include photographs of the damaged vehicles and the accident site, police reports, eyewitness contact information, details of traffic and weather, and medical bills and expenses associated with the treatment of injuries.
Collecting evidence to determine fault is also more effective when it is done in the aftermath of the accident– before witness memories fade and evidence is lost or forgotten. If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, you should contact a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as is possible to begin this process of evaluating the evidence and determining fault.
Contact us at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman, P. C. for a free consultation
Contact us as soon as possible after you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident in Bergen County or elsewhere in New Jersey. We will determine the extent to which vehicle damage points to the liable party. We will also use our skills and experience to analyze all of the evidence that may be available and to argue that the negligent party bears full responsibility to pay damages for your losses and injuries.