Can Fault Be Determined by Car Accident Damage?

Vehicle accidents can leave individuals suffering from significant injuries and substantial property damage. In the aftermath of a crash, it is very important to determine liability so that any victims can be compensated by at-fault parties. However, determining liability can be challenging. In most cases, investigations will be conducted so that evidence can be gathered to prove who was at fault. However, can fault be determined by looking just at the car accident damage? Here, we want to discuss how accident damage can be used to determine liability.

Using Vehicle Damage to Prove Fault for a Car Accident Claim in Oregon

Even though vehicle damage may not be able to tell the entire story of how a vehicle accident occurred, it can provide valuable information to law enforcement officials, insurance carriers, and even legal teams when it comes to determining fault. For example, a minor dent could indicate that another driver was traveling at a relatively low rate of speed or that the driver had almost enough time to finish braking before impact.
Conversely, severe damage to a vehicle can tell investigators a good deal about how fast a vehicle was traveling and how hard the vehicle was hit. This could also be an indication that the at-fault driver was impaired or distracted, particularly if it is suspected the driver failed to apply the brakes at all.

As we mentioned above, vehicle damage often does not tell the whole story of a vehicle accident. For example, it is not uncommon for vehicle damage could be used in conjunction with other types of evidence to determine liability. In some cases, vehicle damage will not narrow down liability enough, though it could point to shared liability.

However, there are times when the location of the damage on a vehicle can do a good job of indicating liability. For example, if a vehicle has significant rear-end damage, this could indicate that a rear-end collision occurred. In these incidents, the driver who rear-ends another car is usually the one at fault. If a vehicle only has damage in one area, this can help narrow down who caused the crash.

Accident Reconstruction May be Necessary

If crash investigators have trouble figuring out what happened at an accident scene, they may turn to accident reconstruction experts. An accident reconstructionist will use the evidence that has already been gathered as well as observations about the accident scene and injuries of those involved.

They may also rely on other types of technical information and specifications, including the weight and it types of vehicles. Using all of this information, accident reconstruction experts can use sophisticated software to create a simulation of the incident to piece together what happened and show it to a jury or insurance carriers.

You Need to Work With an Oregon Car Accident Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of someone else, you may need to work with an attorney to help you with your case. A skilled Portland car accident lawyer can use all the evidence gathered to help properly determine liability. Additionally, an attorney will handle all negotiations with insurance carriers and other parties involved to help ensure their client recovers maximum compensation.