Determining Fault in a Car Accident Case – How Does It Work?

After a motor vehicle accident, it is important that the person responsible is identified. The at-fault party is the party that made a mistake or was negligent. Sometimes, the fault is relatively easy to discover, while other times it is more complicated. After an accident, it is imperative you seek medical treatment, then contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you when determining fault in a car accident case in order to seek compensation.

Why Fault Determinations Matter

Fault is critical in any injury case. The person responsible for the accident is also responsible for the injured party’s damages. Therefore, proving that they are at fault is what prevents them from escaping financial liability.

Eyewitness Statements

Witness reports play a crucial role in responsibility determinations.

The power of a statement from an eyewitness is the reason personal injury attorneys ask their clients to gather contact information of all witnesses at the scene. These witnesses can identify the conditions, what they saw, and potentially validate anything reported in the police report.

Police Reports

Police reports are often the first key piece of evidence used to determine fault. If one party received a citation for a traffic violation, this helps prove liability further.

In that police report is a written recollection of the scene and what the officer has concluded.

Arizona State Traffic Laws

Other times, it is a matter of the state traffic laws. These rules are listed in the Arizona driver’s manual and can apply to an accident. For example, the law requires one to yield the right of way. When that vehicle does not yield and an accident occurs, that driver is automatically at fault.

Rear-End Collisions and Personal Injury Liability

A rear-end collision is the most common type of accident. Often, the vehicle that strikes from behind is the one at fault. However, there are instances where the leading vehicle could be at fault, especially if they cut off another driver or stop suddenly in the middle of the highway and without reason.

Obtaining Legal Advice after a Personal Injury

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, and you are unsure how to determine fault, seek legal representation immediately. Udall Shumway, PLC can review the facts of your accident case and discuss the role of fault with you and how that will affect compensation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Determining Fault in a Car Accident Case, or other personal injury matters, call Mesa AZ Personal Injury Attorney Clark R. Richter at 480-461-5321 or contact him at for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.