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How to Tell Who Hit Whom in a Car Accident: A Comprehensive Guide

In many car accidents across Texas where personal injury is involved, liability gets disputed as the negligent driver may attempt to shift blame onto the injured victim. Determining fault becomes important in these cases, which underscores the critical role of an experienced Texas car accident lawyer.

How to Determine Fault in a Texas Car Accident When Direct Evidence is Available

A skilled Texas car accident attorney will quickly obtain and preserve direct evidence, if it is available, to establish who hit whom in a car accident and discredit the claims of the negligent motorist and their insurance company.

Credible Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitnesses play a key role in corroborating the events leading up to an accident. For proving fault in automobile accidents, a Texas car accident attorney will thoroughly interview eyewitnesses who were present at the scene of the crash to obtain their firsthand accounts of what transpired.

These witnesses can provide invaluable insight into factors such as the speed of the vehicles, the actions of the drivers involved, and any traffic violations committed. Their testimony often serves as credible evidence because they have no personal stake or interest in providing wrong statements regarding fault and negligence.

Speeding vehicle being captured by a traffic camera

Traffic Camera Footage

In many urban areas across Texas, traffic cameras are installed at intersections and along roadways to monitor traffic flow and capture footage of potential accidents. An experienced car accident attorney will work swiftly to obtain any available traffic camera footage that may have captured the moments leading up to the collision.

This visual evidence can offer an objective perspective of the accident, providing vital details such as the sequence of events, the positioning of the vehicles, and whether any traffic laws were violated.This footage can help in identifying the responsible party in a car crash.

Police Report Analysis

Following a car accident, law enforcement officers typically respond to the scene and compile a detailed police report documenting their observations, statements from involved parties, and their preliminary findings regarding fault.

A seasoned Texas car accident attorney will carefully review the contents of the police report, paying close attention to any determinations made by the investigating officers regarding fault or contributing factors to the accident. They may also collaborate with external experts to analyze the data and findings outlined in the report, further bolstering their case for proving negligence.

How to Determine Fault in a Texas Car Accident When No Direct Evidence is Available

Proving liability becomes trickier when clear video footage showing who hit whom is not available, witness testimonies are unreliable or unavailable, and the police report is ambiguous with each involved motorist disputing the other’s version of how the accident occurred.

In this situation, a resourceful Texas car accident lawyer along with their investigative team will utilize various forms of physical evidence to piece together the sequence of events and reconstruct the accident scene accurately.

Analyzing Skid Marks and Vehicle Damage

One of the primary pieces of physical evidence examined is the presence and length of skid marks at the accident site. By precisely measuring the skid marks and considering factors such as road conditions and vehicle characteristics, the lawyer, usually assisted by automotive experts and accident reconstructionists, can estimate the speed at which the vehicles were traveling before impact.

In addition, the extent of damage sustained by the vehicles provides valuable insight into the force of the collision and the speeds involved. High levels of damage suggest greater velocity, aiding in the determination of fault.

Assessing Activation of Safety Devices

Another critical aspect is examining the activation of safety devices such as airbags. These devices deploy under specific conditions, such as sudden deceleration or impact force exceeding a certain threshold. By analyzing whether airbags were deployed and the severity of damage, investigators can infer the magnitude of the collision and the forces involved, shedding light on the events leading up to the accident.

Interpreting Damage Location

The location of damage on the vehicles can offer valuable clues about the circumstances of the collision. For instance, damage concentrated on the passenger side of a vehicle at an intersection may indicate that the driver was making a left turn when the accident occurred.

By carefully examining the pattern and extent of damage, your lawyer’s investigative team can reconstruct the movements of the vehicles and the actions of the drivers prior to the collision, aiding in the determination of fault.

Determining Fault in Common Car Accident Scenarios in Texas

Side Impact (T-Bone) Accidents

In a T-bone collision where Vehicle A is struck broadside by Vehicle B at an intersection, the location of the damage can offer insights into fault determination. If Vehicle B had a stop sign while Vehicle A didn’t, and the impact occurred in the side of Vehicle A, it strongly suggests that Vehicle B failed to yield the right of way, bearing the brunt of fault for the accident.

Rear-End Collisions

Damage to the rear of a vehicle typically indicates that the driver of the trailing vehicle is at fault. When someone rear-ends you, they are usually deemed primarily responsible for the accident. Exceptions may arise, such as when the leading vehicle suddenly cuts off the trailing vehicle or when faulty lights contribute to the collision. However, in most cases, the trailing driver shoulders the blame for a rear-end collision.

Pulling Out of a Driveway

If another driver pulls out of a driveway and collides with your vehicle, the location of the damage can help determine fault. Extensive damage to the passenger side of your vehicle, away from the front right fender, suggests that the other driver failed to exercise caution when entering the roadway, providing compelling evidence of their negligence.

Unsafe Left Turns Into Oncoming Traffic

When a driver makes an unsafe left turn in front of oncoming traffic, the positioning of the vehicle damage can shed light on fault attribution. Damage to the left front or left front side of your vehicle indicates that you attempted to evade the collision by swerving, suggesting the other driver’s negligence. Conversely, damage to the right rear corner of the turning vehicle suggests that the oncoming driver failed to heed traffic signals or maintain a safe distance, contributing to the collision.

Running a Stop Sign or Red Light

In instances where a driver runs a stop sign or red light and collides with another vehicle proceeding through the intersection with a green light, the location of the damage is telling. Damage to the front of the negligent driver’s vehicle and the side of the non-negligent driver’s vehicle underscores the failure to obey traffic signs and signals and yields valuable evidence of fault.

Damaged white car after a hit and run accident

Can Vehicle Damage Serve as Evidence of Speeding in a Car Accident?

While vehicle damage alone may not definitively prove speeding, an experienced Texas car accident attorney can evaluate the conditions to gain valuable insights into the dynamics of the collision.

Assessing Vehicle Damage for Signs of Speeding

The extent and nature of vehicle damage can sometimes indicate that excessive speed played a role in the accident. For instance, if a rear-end collision in a parking lot results in significant frame damage to the victim’s vehicle, despite the posted speed limit being low, it suggests that the striking driver may have been speeding.

Similarly, in urban areas with lower speed limits, if a relatively minor accident leads to extensive vehicle damage and renders a vehicle a total loss, it raises suspicions of speeding involvement.

Considering Other Evidence in Conjunction with Vehicle Damage

While vehicle damage can provide clues, it is important to acknowledge the complexities involved. In freeway or highway accidents, distinguishing between speeds of 60 and 80 mph based solely on vehicle damage can be challenging.

Factors like the type of vehicles involved, collision angles, and environmental conditions further complicate speed assessment. Therefore, vehicle damage should be considered alongside other evidence, such as eyewitness testimony and accident reconstruction analysis, to establish a comprehensive understanding of the accident dynamics.

The Role of Vehicle Damage in Legal Proceedings

In the event of a car accident lawsuit, the interpretation of vehicle damage as evidence of speeding ultimately rests with the jury. Expert testimony, coupled with detailed analysis of the accident scene and vehicle damage, can sway the jury’s perception and influence the outcome of the case. When combined with expert testimony and other supporting evidence, vehicle damage can significantly strengthen the plaintiff’s case to establish the defendant’s speeding actions.

Modified Comparative Negligence Rule in Texas: Stakes are High for the Injured Victims to Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

According to the harsh Texas modified comparative negligence rule, if you are determined to be 51% or more at fault for your own accident and injuries, you are barred from recovering any damages. Clearly, the defendants and their insurance company have a strong potential financial incentive and motivation to shift the blame on to you for your personal injury to an extent where they can entirely escape liability.

This is why you need a proven and capable Texas car accident attorney on your side. With their expertise and experience navigating the complexities of comparative negligence, they can skillfully counter attempts to unfairly assign fault. A knowledgeable injury attorney will diligently investigate the circumstances of the accident, gather compelling evidence, and construct a robust legal strategy to refute any allegations of contributory negligence.

Car accident lawyer filling out documents

Get Strong Legal Representation from Our Proven Texas Car Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Texas, it is important to protect your rights. At Tijerina Legal Group, we understand the complexities of car accident claims and are committed to fighting for the largest possible compensation you deserve.

Our experienced legal team, led by top-rated Texas car accident lawyer Humberto Tijerina, will relentlessly pursue maximum compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us 24/7 at (956) 777-7770 or write to us online to schedule your free consultation.

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Reviewed by Humberto Tijerina

Personal Injury Attorney in Rio Grande Valley

When you have been injured because of someone else, you need a team with the power to win and the compassion to walk alongside you as you recover.