Vehicle Accident

Determining Who Is At Fault in Michigan After a Car Accident

Because when you are fighting a difficult fight, you deserve nothing less.

A car accident is one of the most traumatic events a person can experience. It can rattle your sense of safety and leave you shaken up as you are working toward recovery for months or even years.

Unfortunately, the struggle of a car accident does not end when the crash is over. Once the accident passes, the road to recovery begins. Allow our attorneys to help you through the process and recover the compensation you deserve.

If you were recently caught in a car accident, here is a closer look at how to determine fault in a car accident and what you can do to strengthen your case.

The Basics of Fault

In Michigan, a car accident victim may recover damages for pain and suffering due to the negligence of the at-fault driver(s).

Fault is one of the basic determinations of how an insurance company proceeds with and/or values a car accident case. It essentially determines who caused the accident, and as a consequence who is responsible for paying for damages.

Comparative Fault

Comparative fault is a legal theory that is used to determine how much an auto accident victim may have been comparatively at fault in causing the accident. This percent can be zero if the victim had no fault in the accident at all. Comparative fault law applies to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Comparative fault law also applies to Mini Tort claims for recovery of vehicle damage repair.

If an auto accident victim is found to be comparatively at fault for causing an accident, then his or her damages will be reduced by the amount of his or her comparative fault. If a victim is found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, then he or she will be prohibited from recovering damages.

Determining Who Is At Fault in a car accident

In some cases, it is easily determined who was at fault for a motor vehicle accident. In other situations, it is not clear who caused the crash and these cases require more work and information. At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, our attorneys use the following sources to help gather information to determine who was at fault for causing the car accident:

Police Reports

Police Officers are typically the first ones at the scene of a crash. They will speak with the parties involved, speak with witnesses at the scene, and review physical evidence such as damage to the vehicle. Police Officers use this information, as well as their experience, to determine who was at fault for the accident. However, it is important to know that the initial reports are sometimes incorrect or there is more to the story.

The police report is a good initial source of information when it comes to determining who may be at fault for the accident. The police report shows any citations that were issued, witnesses that were at the scene, weather conditions, traffic conditions, etc. These pieces of information are very important when it comes to establishing who caused the accident and how it occurred. The reports just the start of the investigation and analysis.  

If you have been involved in an accident, it is important that you speak to the Police Officer at the scene and tell him/her what happened in great detail including any injuries or pain you have. It is also important that you receive the incident report number so you can obtain a copy of the Police Report.

Insurance Adjusters

Insurance companies conduct their own investigation regarding a car accident. The insurance companies may send their own insurance adjusters to assess the accident scene or to inspect the involved vehicles. These insurance adjusters may also take statements from the parties involved in the accident or any known witnesses. 

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is best to consult with an attorney first before speaking to the insurance companies. It is important that you inform your attorney of any and all communications that you may have had with any insurance company.

Witness Statements

As discussed above, Police Offices will speak to any witnesses at the scene of a car accident. Witnesses have very helpful information regarding how the accident happened or any facts surrounding the accident. An attorney is necessary to help follow up with the witnesses because sometimes the information attributed to witnesses in police reports is inaccurate or there’s more to the story.

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important that you try to collect contact information from any witnesses in the event they need to be contacted by the attorney you select to investigate the case and represent you. 

Security Cameras

Security cameras are a remarkably useful tool in that they are one of the few purely objective sources of evidence in a case. Our attorneys understand how important this can be and immediately canvass the scene and identify places that might have something on their security footage. We then send out requests to obtain and preserve security camera footage, if any, to help determine how an accident occured.

Fighting For Your Rights and Telling Your Side of the Story

When determining fault in a car accident, it also comes down to you telling your side of the story. This may seem tough since you may be overwhelmed by the process and by a difficult recovery.

At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, we understand that you deserve to have your story heard and we fight to get you the compensation you deserve. For over 25 years, we have fought for families just like yours, recovering millions for our clients. Our firm is built on a tradition of dedication and hard work. Our firm treats every client with the same care and attention they would their own loved ones.

Because when you are fighting a difficult fight, you deserve nothing less.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. We are here to help and answer any questions you may have.

We know that no family should have to suffer because of someone else’s carelessness. That’s why our team of expert personal injury attorneys have fought for families like yours since 1989.

If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation.

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Christian Collis

Chris Collis's Bio

Christian Collis has been an attorney for over 20 years. His legal career crosses multiple areas with the majority of his life spent fighting for plaintiffs in the areas of automobile negligence, trucking accidents, premises liability, and wrongful death.