Depending on how your auto accident occurred in Greenville, South Carolina, establishing liability may the simplest part of your whole claim. There are cases where drunk drivers or aggressive drivers are clearly in the wrong in an auto accident case. There are cases where it is evident that one driver broke the rules of the road, by running a red light or following too close. Unfortunately, for every case where liability is readily apparent, there are other cases where it is not, and you’re going to have to prove who was responsible.
There are even cases where liability seems obvious to you, but the insurance company disagrees, or the other driver insists that the facts of the case are much different than what you recall. Without adequate evidence, this could be a major uphill battle, an obstacle that delays your compensation or prevents you from recovering compensation at all. You will find yourself on firmer ground with the guidance of a Greenville, SC auto accident attorney from Bryan Ramey & Associates, so call us today to discuss how we can help you prove liability in your case.
Determining the Exact Cause of Your Accident
In order to prove liability in your auto accident claim, you’ll need to know exactly what caused it. You can’t simply say that the other driver caused it; you have to prove how you reached this conclusion. You need to be able to establish that the other driver was distracted, aggressive, intoxicated, speeding, or simply traveling too fast for weather conditions, for examples.
You might need to prove that the other driver was drowsy and fell asleep at the wheel or that they were following too closely behind you. You have to identify the driver’s duty of care, how that duty of care was breached, and how that breach of duty resulted in the accident and the value of the injuries and damages that you suffered because of it.
You may be able to establish who is at fault for the accident based on the responding officer’s testimony, which will be based on their police report. The police report, itself, cannot be used as evidence, but the responding officer can serve as a witness, and he or she can refer to their police report to refresh their memory of what happened.
The majority of auto accidents will involve the police, because you are legally required to contact the police for any auto accident that causes injury, death, or significant property damage. If the police were not contacted, for any reason, and the property damage is greater than $1K, you need to file a Traffic Collision Report with the South Carolina DMV.
There are also cases where the police respond to an accident and end up citing the at-fault driver for breaking the law. In such cases, the at-fault driver faces legal consequences in addition to the civil liability for the damages that resulted from the collision.
Establishing Liability with Evidence of Negligence
The important thing, when it comes to establishing liability, is to have evidence of the negligence that caused the accident. This is why it’s so important to get the contact information of all witnesses, to take as many photos of the scene as you can, and to write down what you remember about the incident while you still remember it clearly. In many accidents, the victims are immediately transported to the hospital, and they are in no condition to gather such evidence. If possible, as a friend or relative to go to the scene and take the photos that you were unable to take, before the wreckage is cleared away. The photos can provide evidence of how the vehicles were positioned, any skid marks on the road, any signs or signals that were not obeyed by the at fault driver, and the severity of injuries, prior to treatment.
Another form of evidence that can be extremely helpful in proving how the accident occurred is found in the witness testimony of experts. These are witnesses who were not at the scene, but who know how to put all of the evidence together to reconstruct the auto accident or who know how to determine the likelihood of long term impairment associated with your injuries. When you work with Bryan Ramey & Associates, we’ll bring in expert witnesses when necessary to help prove liability and the value of damages associated with your auto accident.
In many Greenville, South Carolina auto accident claims, dash cam evidence is becoming more and more relevant and useful, as more drivers invest in such devices to record everything that happens while they drive, from the perspective of their own vehicle. If you have video of the auto accident, this can go a long way towards proving exactly how the incident occurred and who was at fault for the collision. The police can also benefit from this footage, because it will let them know how the incident occurred and whether anyone broke any laws.
Video evidence from a dash cam is also extremely convincing when it comes a jury trial. Most auto accident claims never make it to trial, because they are settled out of court between the victim, their attorney, and the auto insurance company. Yet, because the auto insurance company is well aware of how convincing video footage will be, this can strengthen your claim and help you to obtain the maximum value of compensation. If you don’t already have a dash cam for your vehicle, you would be wise to purchase one. You can find one for as little as $25, and it can make a world of difference if you ever get into an accident
Work With Bryan Ramey & Associates to Negotiate Your Claim
When you contact Bryan Ramey & Associates to discuss your auto accident claim, our dedicated Greenville, SC auto accident attorneys will provide a FREE, no-obligation consultation and can then go on to build your case with all of the available evidence. We will negotiate with the appropriate auto insurance company on your behalf, and in most cases, we can reach a fair settlement agreement without ever having to take the case to trial. In some cases, we file suit, try the case before a judge and jury, and handle appeals to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to obtain justice for our clients. The sooner you call us the stronger your case is going to be, so contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation and learn more about the process.