Virginia is a fault state when it comes to car accidents. Other states, like Florida, are “no fault,” which means that motorists carry no-fault insurance that pays compensation regardless of who is to blame. In Virginia, our motorists must carry liability insurance, which pays benefits only when the policyholder is at fault for a collision.
But how do you prove fault? Our Virginia car accident lawyers rely on several different pieces of evidence, which will depend on the case.
Those who saw the accident can testify as to how it unfolded. Witnesses can include any passenger in a vehicle or even people standing on the sidewalk who observed the wreck.
Remember, you are also a witness to the accident, so write down your memories of how it unfolded as soon as you can. Be as detailed as possible and write down:
- When you first saw the other vehicle
- How fast the other vehicle was going
- What you were doing in the moments before the crash
- What you observed the other driver doing (talking on a phone? drinking out of a bottle?)
Sometimes, people’s memories conflict, so we can look at other evidence to bolster our case.
Admissions by the Other Driver
The other driver might admit that they were at fault. Write down anything they say in the moments following a crash and tell your attorney. These types of statements are highly relevant, especially immediately after the accident. Under stress, people often blurt out the truth.
Many accidents happen near local businesses, which often have one or more cameras pointed toward the road. They often can catch fender benders, sideswipes, and other accidents that happen nearby. This type of evidence is highly probative, and our Norfolk car accident lawyers can investigate to find out if any footage caught the accident.
A car might also have a dashcam which records the collision. This is why it is so vital to get the names of any witnesses, so we can follow up and check whether they have a dash cam mounted on their car.
Pictures of the cars after the accident are helpful. Try to get at least one photo before moving the cars to the side of the road. This way, we can see how the cars ended up after the crash, which can help with the reconstruction of the accident to determine fault. Then take pictures of all sides of every vehicle involved, zooming in on any damage.
By inspecting the vehicles, our Chesapeake car accident lawyers can uncover helpful evidence that shows who hit who. Technically, a driver can be at fault even if their car did not strike the other. For example, a driver might cut off another vehicle and get hit, in which case the driver that was struck could be to blame. Still, physical evidence is often very helpful at reconstructing the car accident and apportioning fault.
As part of our inspection, we can also look at the scene of the accident. We might find skid marks or debris which helps us understand how the accident occurred. Armed with this information, we can better pinpoint who is at fault for the wreck.
Cell Phone Records
Talking on the phone and texting while driving are serious problems. It is also illegal to hold a cell phone while driving in Virginia.
If you suspect the other driver was distracted by being on the phone, tell your attorney. Our team might subpoena a driver’s phone records to identify whether he or she was on the phone in the moments leading up to the crash.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Barney Injury Law is a leading firm that represents injured victims in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake. We understand Virginia’s liability laws and will do everything possible to help our clients receive maximum compensation. Speak with a lawyer to schedule your free consultation today.