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Can Fault Be Determined by Auto Accident Damage?

December 16, 2022
Image of an auto crash with damage

Yes. Auto accident damage can usually help figure out which party was at fault for an accident. One of the most challenging aspects of auto accident cases is determining fault because they happen in a snap, and recollections are not always reliable.

Among other evidence used for determining fault in auto accidents, such as pictures and videos of the crash, police reports, and witness statements, among others, auto accident damage can also help determine who’s at fault and, therefore, liable for the crash.

How Vehicle Damage is Used to Help Determine Fault in Auto Accidents

By assessing the auto accident damage, an investigator can piece together a clear picture of what transpired. For example, they may evaluate the skid marks in the crash site and from photos. They can measure the skid marks’ length and consider other facts about the road conditions and involved vehicles to help estimate how fast the vehicles were traveling before the crash.

Another useful way to estimate the speed of a vehicle is to assess the severity of the damage. Naturally, the faster the vehicle travels in a crash, the more damage it will suffer upon impact. In addition, some safety devices, such as airbags, may only deploy under very specific conditions. If the airbags deployed in the crash, the investigator can assume that those conditions existed at the time of the crash.

Likewise, the location of the vehicle damage can help establish what the vehicle was doing when the crash occurred. In a T-bone or broadside collision, for instance, if car A was T-boned or broadsided in a controlled intersection where car B had a red light and car A didn’t, it’s very likely that car B sped through the red light and crashed into car A. In this scenario, the driver of car B will most likely bear all or most of the fault causing the T-bone collision.

It is also crucial to look at the overall crash site to figure out the specific positions of the vehicles right after the crash. Investigators may compare pictures right after the crash with the actual crash site to determine where the damaged vehicle was in relation to the other vehicles and the road and traffic conditions.

For example, by checking the location and condition of any landmarks, such as a pole, fence, parking meter, or traffic sign, involved in the crash, the investigators can determine whether the vehicle was parked or in motion when the crash happened.

Consult With an Experienced NYC Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one sustains injuries and property damage in an auto accident due to another’s negligence in NYC, you must do all that you can to seek fair compensation for all your losses. But determining fault in car crashes may be tricky. This is where the NYC auto accident attorneys of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman can help.

We will use our resources and experience to thoroughly investigate your case, manage all negotiations with insurers, and work hard to ensure that you get fairly compensated. Call 212-285-3300 or reach us online to arrange your free consultation with our NYC auto accident attorney.