A Victim-Friendly Guide on How to Determine Fault After an Accident

Car accidents are unlucky situations that often have extreme consequences, physically, mentally, and emotionally. One of the essential aspects after an accident is determining liability. Determining accountability in a car accident is also crucial for victims seeking compensation for their damages and injuries.

Understanding car accident fault

Motor vehicle accident liability is a critical aspect. It’s the legal obligation assigned to a person or entity for the damages and injuries that come as a result of a collision. Determining fault is not only crucial for a personal injury claim but also has a vital role in legal proceedings.

It is essential to contact an experienced law firm, like Gallagher & Kennedy, and get a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the claims process, including determining and proving liability. The firm, which has been in business for over 45 years, has helped accident victims, not just in Phoenix and Santa Fe, but across the US. They’re also winners of the prestigious Most Admired Company in Arizona for two years in a row.

Here are the simple steps to determine fault or liability if you get involved in the unfortunate events of a car accident.

1. Be calm and evaluate the incident/situation

It’s important to stay still and calm after the accident and assess the situation. You should check yourself and others for injuries and contact emergency services if needed. You must also move to a safer location to prevent further danger.

2. Gather evidence

This is a very critical step in determining liability. You can take pictures of the scene, including the car damage, road conditions, and other essential signs. You can also collect eyewitness information and record or note their statements to provide hard evidence.

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3. Exchanging information

Exchanging insurance information and contacting the other party involved in the collision is essential. You can obtain their name, address, plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance details by interacting with them. This is important, especially in facilitating the claims, and it ensures effective communication among all the parties.

4. Reporting the incident

Depending on how severe the accident was, you will need to report the matter to the police. In most cases, accidents involving injuries, fatalities, or massive property damage must be immediately reported. Reporting minor cases is essential since it provides a formal, detailed report of the accident, which can be used in the claims process. You are required to be honest with the police and the insurance adjusters and avoid admitting liability or even placing blame.

5. Consult legal specialists

If you’re unsure about your rights, you can consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in claims cases. Seeking help from a lawyer in the early stages protects your rights.

6. Understand comparative negligence

In some incidents, liability may be shared between you and the other parties involved. It’s important to understand the idea of comparative negligence. The principle assigns a part of fault to each person depending on negligence. You can still pursue compensation even though you may be partially liable, albeit a reduced one.

7. Review Insurance policy

This helps you understand your rights and coverage in the incident. The insurance company usually conducts its analysis and investigation to determine liability, but it’s essential to understand its terms and conditions.


Following the above steps, with the help of appropriate supervision and guidance, accident victims can protect their rights and get fair compensation for the damages. It’s important to stay calm, gather enough evidence, collaborate with authorities, and seek legal guidance when needed.

By taking protective measures, a victim can navigate the outcome of an accident with outstanding clarity and confidence.

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