When you're the victim of a car accident in Kansas or Missouri, you must prove another driver was at fault in order to obtain injury compensation.
Even when you believe the facts are crystal clear, the other driver's insurance company could dispute them. Without neutral witnesses to the incident, the true cause could be difficult to prove.
The location of vehicle damage may help show how the wreck occurred.
How Damage Location Can Help Prove Fault
Vehicle collision damage provides clues to possible crash causes, and narrows down which driver is responsible.
For example, if two vehicles have front end damage, it's likely the catalyst was a head-on collision.
Once this is determined, the investigation will take into consideration traffic patterns, tire marks, the resulting angle of the vehicles after impact, and other factors to determine which driver is responsible for the incident.
Here are some other scenarios:
- Rear-end crash. Vehicle A has damage in the back. Vehicle B has damage in the front. This often indicates a rear impact collision by Vehicle B. In some cases, the driver of Vehicle B is presumed at fault by failing to maintain a safe stopping distance. In other situations, the driver of Vehicle A may be a fault due to distraction, obstacles in the lane ahead, sudden stops, or dangerous road conditions.
- Parking lot collision. When a stationary vehicle has damage to a bumper, headlight, or side panel, it's often an indication that another driver backed up and clipped that car. This usually places fault with the person in the moving vehicle.
- Broadside or T-bone accident. This impact frequently happens at intersections and during lane changes, when one motorist somehow fails to yield proper right of way. For example, if a vehicle has significant side panel damage, another driver may have turned left into oncoming traffic, or tried to change lanes without signaling. In this case, he or she may be at fault. Conversely, a driver who doesn't exercise caution during a light switch or rushes ahead to merge lanes may also be liable.
When Property Damage Location Isn't Enough
In many accidents, property damage location is a piece of the puzzle but not definitive in proving fault. An incident at a four-way stop, for example, may result in side damage to one car and front end damage to another. Who had the right of way in this scenario? That's what additional evidence such as witness statements, police reports, photos of the scene, and other information helps determine.
Our experienced car accident attorneys understand the importance of a thorough investigation of the cause of a car accident in order to build a strong claim of negligence against the at-fault driver. If you need assistance in filing your claim following a collision, call our Kansas City office or start an online chat to schedule your free consultation.