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How is fault determined in a multi-vehicle collision?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When multiple vehicles collide on the road, it is important to determine who is at fault. This information is key for addressing insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Since each incident is different, investigators must start by looking at various factors to identify the cause.

Traffic rules and violations

Authorities examine whether any driver involved violated traffic rules or regulations leading up to the collision. Running red lights, speeding or failing to yield are common violations that can help determine fault.

Eyewitness accounts

Eyewitnesses play an important role in the investigation. Their statements help create a timeline of events that occurred before the crash. These accounts provide valuable perspectives that aid in understanding what led to the incident.

Police reports

Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene compile detailed reports. These reports include observations, interviews and their assessment of the situation. Such documents help determine fault based on their professional judgment.

Vehicle damage and skid marks

Examining the extent and pattern of vehicle damage provides insights into the dynamics of the collision. Skid marks can show if a car suddenly slammed on the brakes or swerved, which helps investigators figure out what happened during the crash.

Traffic camera footage

In areas equipped with surveillance cameras, the footage is carefully examined to get an accurate view of the incident. Video evidence can be particularly valuable in piecing together the moments leading up to the crash.

Weather and road conditions

Investigators evaluate external factors, such as weather and road conditions. Slippery roads due to rain or snow, for instance, could contribute to a wreck. Assessing these conditions helps determine if they played a role in the incident.

By carefully examining these elements, authorities can establish a clear understanding of what happened and who is at fault for a multi-vehicle collision.