In the chaos and confusion that often comes with the aftermath of a car wreck, it can be hard to keep the events straight in your head. Experts recommend taking notes, recording witness statements, and capturing photos of the scene after an accident to help solidify the memories and provide physical evidence. Even so, without an explicit admission of guilt, it can be notoriously difficult to pin the fault on any one person or vehicle.
But why does that matter, you may ask? North Carolina is what’s known as a “fault state,” meaning that the driver responsible for the collision will not be able to collect any insurance money, regardless of their personal damages or injuries. Every state has its own laws regarding fault in an automobile incident. While in North Carolina, be careful not to immediately accept the blame, thus criminalizing yourself and forfeiting any insurance coverage you may have received.
There are several reasons why fault may be difficult to determine. First, as alluded to previously, human memory is often unreliable. Car accidents occur in the blink of an eye, and the trauma of such an incident can render even the most sharp-eyed person unable to remember a thing. Then again, the victim may remember bits and pieces, but they’re all jumbled and mixed in their mind. As you unscramble the events that led up to the accident, just be certain not to jump the gun and point any fingers at yourself.
Second, many fault cases rely on eyewitness testimony to establish a third-party account of the incident. If an accident were to take place on some remote country road in the middle of nowhere, the odds are slim that there will be any witnesses, aside from the two victims. Lack of eyewitnesses can pose an obstacle to determining fault.
Finally, lack of solid evidence may prove difficult to navigate. If an accident occurs as a result of texting and driving, for example, the negligent driver can deny any claims against them. Statements from both sides are typically documented by the police, but they don’t always align with one another, further complicating matters.
Fortunately, there are ways of determining fault in these cases, including leaving it up to the insurance company or even a jury. But don’t let yourself get caught off guard. If you’re not at fault, you don’t deserve to lose your insurance money because of another driver. Wayne Hardee Law would be honored to work alongside you and represent your case. Get in touch with us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our skilled attorneys!