There are many different ways a skilled Florida car accident lawyer works to help prove another driver was the cause of your accident. They will review the police reports and speak with the police. Good trial lawyers will send investigators to the scene of the accident to observe the lanes, traffic lights, speed limits, and other factors. Attorneys will speak with all relevant witnesses. They will conduct extensive discovery where they will submit written questions to the responsible driver and orally question all relevant witnesses. Still, one of the best ways and most conclusive ways to help prove the fault is by examining the car damage to the vehicles involved in the accident. The location of the damage, the extent of the damage, combined with the way the accident occurred can help prove fault.
Common types of car accidents
Car accidents often happen in one of the following ways:
- A rear-end collision
- A head-on crash where the fronts of both vehicles strike each other.
- A T-bone crash also is known as a broadside crash. Here the front one. car strikes the side of another car.
- In a sideswipe crash, the sides of each car strike each other. This often happens when one care tries to pass improperly.
- There are back-out collisions where a driver backs into traffic improperly.
- Some accidents involve multiple vehicles where the first crash starts a chain-reaction of car or vehicle crashes.
- Occasionally, a vehicle will be traveling so fast that it flips over. This type of crash often happens when a car is speeding while inside a curve
- Cars can crash when they both try to merge into the same lane or one car tries to merge into a lane too early.
Collecting the Evidence of a car accident
Before analyzing how the accident occurred through car damage, it is essential to detail the property damage
The police who come to the scene of the accident will prepare a report after they clear the cars from the accident site. The report should indicate the types of cars in the accident and where the damage to each car is. The report will often also indicate the position of the vehicles after the accident.
Anyone who is in an accident should try to take pictures of the damage to their car and the other cars as soon as possible after the accident (and after helping anyone who is hurting). A smartphone can capture the damage. The pictures can help show fault. They are also a way to indicate the likely sums insurance companies will need to pay to repair the vehicles – if possible.
Additional ways to show the car damage
Witnesses can testify as to where the damage was.
Investigators may come to the scene of the accident and take pictures or video. They may also come to the repair shops where the cars are. The repair shops should detail where the damage is and how severe it is
Fault in rear-end crashes
In this type of crash, the front of the car that struck the car in front will have damage to the front fender and front hood. The car that is struck will have damage to the rear fender and the rear of the car. In rear-end crashes, the car with the front-end damage is almost always at fault.
Fault in head-on collisions
Here the front-end car damage by itself does not prove fault. When combined, however, with a showing that one car was traveling the wrong way, such as going the wrong way down a one-way street or entering an off-ramp instead of an on-rap, the front-end damage to both cars will confirm the fault of the wrong-way driver.
Here, the front of one car will be damaged. The driver’s side or the passenger side of the other car will have damage. These types of accidents usually happen at intersections where one driver runs through a red light or a stop sign. In this type of accident, additional evidence is usually necessary to show one driver was responsible for the accident such as the location of the vehicles on impact. If the damage is to the front of one car and the left front of your car, that can help show the other driver made an improper left-hand turn and that you tried to swerve right to avoid the accident.
Flip-over, rollover crashes
This type of crash usually involves a single driver who was going too fast. The passengers will normally be able to prove the driver was at fault by showing the car damage to the hood of the car and other parts of the car.
These accidents usually occur when one vehicle tries to pass another vehicle or when cars try to merge into the same spot. If the cars were passing each other, then the passenger side of the car passing negligently will likely have damage and the driver’s side of the car not at fault will have damage. Though it may be possible that the car with the driver side damage veered into the passing lane. The damage is less conclusive if the accident is a merging accident.
Here, cars will often be struck in different places by different cars.
How damage is analyzed
In some cases, such as a rear-end crash, the fault is fairly obvious depending on where the damage is. In many other cases, the damage is instructive but not conclusive. Sometimes, Florida car accident lawyers will employ a traffic reconstruction expert to analyze the damage to the vehicles and many other factors to help recreate the accident and prove which driver is responsible. Some of the additional factors can include the weather conditions and the speed of the vehicles at the time of the car accident.