How to Prove You Were Not at Fault in a Car Accident

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on July 12, 2019 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 25, 2024

Man in accidentWhen you are involved in a car accident, the first question that comes to mind is, “who caused the accident?” Determining who is at fault can make all the difference. Typically, the at-fault driver is responsible for the accident damages like medical expenses and vehicle repairs. But how can you prove that you did not cause the accident?

The experienced legal team at PKSD can review the factors that contributed to your accident and help you determine who was at fault for the accident. Our knowledgeable Milwaukee car accident lawyers can explain if you have a case against the other driver during a free, no obligation consultation.

Did the Other Driver Violate State Traffic Laws?

A core question when determining fault in a motor vehicle accident is whether one of the drivers violated a state traffic law. The rules of the road dictate how drivers must operate their motor vehicles in the state. These rules state the relevant speed limits, right-of-way rules and roadway markings.

The other party may be liable for the accident if they violated a state traffic law, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield
  • Running a red light
  • Ignoring a stop sign
  • Tailgating
  • Driving under the influence

Determining Negligence

Negligence is the legal principle that determines who is most at fault for an accident. In Wisconsin, the elements that you must prove to establish negligence are the following:

  • Duty – You must show that the other party owed you a duty of care to act in a reasonable manner to prevent harm to themselves and others.
  • Breach of duty – This element is usually the most difficult to prove. It requires you to show how the other party failed to meet its duty of care by acting unreasonably.
  • Cause in fact – You must be able to show that had it not been for the other party’s failure, the accident would not have occurred.
  • Damages – You must also show that you were injured and suffered some type of loss, such as medical expenses, for which you are entitled to compensation.

You can learn more about the negligence factors here.

Evidence to Prove Negligence

It is important to have supportive evidence to show the other driver was negligent or that you were not, including the following:

Police Reports

The law enforcement officer who responds to the scene may provide an opinion in a report that he or she creates after the accident. This opinion may state the belief that the other driver violated a traffic law and this violation caused the accident. Sometimes, the law enforcement officer may issue a citation for this violation. The report may reference evidence used to make this determination, such as the position of the vehicles, skid marks or eyewitness accounts.

A police or accident report can be valuable information to prove fault in an accident. Ask for a copy of the report from the police department that responded to the scene.

Pictures of the Accident Scene

If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene. These pictures may later help establish liability and how damages occurred. If possible, take pictures of the following:

  • The location of the vehicles
  • Any relevant traffic signs
  • Debris on the roadway
  • Skid marks
  • Damage to the vehicles
  • Your injuries

Medical Documents

Medical documents are crucial in proving negligence. These documents can also help establish the level of damages you sustained and link the accident to your injuries That is why it is important to seek immediate medical attention after an accident.

What If I Partially Contributed to the Accident?

If your own negligence contributed to the accident, you can still pursue your claim so long as your degree of negligence is not more than the other party’s negligence. However, the amount of compensation you may receive will be reduced by your degree of fault.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

If you were injured in an accident and need help proving you were not at fault for the accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced lawyer for help with your claim. The dedicated legal team at PKSD can investigate your claim and gather evidence to establish fault. We will fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Call us today at 414-333-3333 for your free legal consultation.

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