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How Can You Tell Who Hit Who in a Car Accident?

Car accidents are stressful and confusing. Unfortunately, they are also very common. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there is one accident every 3.6 seconds in the state.

If you have been involved in a crash, you will want to determine who the responsible party is. But how can you tell who hit who in a car accident? Sometimes, the evidence is apparent, while other times, there may need to be an in-depth look into the collision.

In this blog, we’ll examine how to tell who the responsible party may be and how that’s important for your legal claim.

Determining Who Initiated the Vehicle Crash

In the aftermath of a collision, the damage on each vehicle can often indicate who may have hit who in the accident. For example, in the case of a rear-end collision, the front of the leading vehicle is usually more damaged than the rear of the striking vehicle.

In these cases, the force of impact is transferred from the striking vehicle to the leading vehicle. As a result, the latter absorbs most of the impact.

On the other hand, side-impact crashes, also known as T-bone accidents, will cause damage to the side of the impacted vehicle. In these accidents, the point of impact is at a perpendicular angle, leading to damage to the side of the impacted vehicle.

However, the type of damage does not always give clues to who may have caused the accident. In some cases, other evidence must be analyzed along with an investigation into the crash.

The Police Report

Another important source to determine the responsible driver is the police report.

After an accident, the police will analyze the scene and take statements from drivers and witnesses. They will then compile this information into a report that includes their assessment of fault based on the available evidence.

Eyewitness Accounts

Eyewitness testimony can also be very valuable in determining who was at fault.

These individuals can provide a firsthand account of what happened. Along with that, their statements can corroborate or challenge the drivers’ versions of events. This can help to provide a more complete picture of what occurred before and during the collision.

Video Evidence

Physical evidence is helpful to see who impacted with others on the road. CCTV or dashcam footage can capture the accident, providing a clear picture of what happened.

Many times, this video evidence clarifies details that might be missed in accident reports or witness statements.

Claims Adjuster’s Findings

Insurance companies take the lead in the investigation process. A claims adjuster will investigate the accident and determine the extent of the damage. They will take all the available evidence to determine the sequences of events, such as driver and witness statements, video and photographic evidence, and police reports.

Based on their investigation, claims adjusters determine the amount of compensation that the insurance company should provide to the affected parties.

However, keep in mind that the claims adjuster will always have the best interest of their employer (the insurance company) in these cases. While they may have all the physical evidence and reports, they may not always agree with your sequence of events.

Why Fault in an Accident Matters

When a car accident occurs, determining fault is the first step in the aftermath. Liability is one of the primary reasons for determining fault. Generally, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering the costs associated with the accident, including:

  • Repairs to the damaged vehicles
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Other losses

This determination of fault can help the injured party recover the costs incurred due to the accident.

Also, insurance companies rely on fault determination to process claims. In South Carolina, there are modified comparative negligence laws. That assigns fault to each driver. If you are 50% or less responsible, you may be able to file a claim for damages against the other driver.

Fault also affects legal proceedings, such as personal injury lawsuits. Establishing fault helps injured parties seek compensation from the responsible driver. In these cases, that can affect the amount of compensation the injured party receives.

Determining who hits who in a car accident goes a long way in a personal injury case.

Sometimes, despite all the evidence, the claims adjuster may not reach a conclusion in your favor. Before filing any claims, you may want to reach out to a car accident lawyer to learn about your options. It is important to know who is the responsible party in these accidents, especially if you need to recover compensation.

And if you ever need assistance in your car accident case, The Solomon Law Group offers free consultations.


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