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How Do You Know Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

If you are in a serious car accident in New Jersey, fault becomes a major issue. As a victim of the accident, you cannot collect any compensation unless someone else is at fault. If the court decides that you are also to blame, the compensation you might collect is reduced in proportion to your share of fault. And, if your share of the fault is greater than 50 percent, you cannot collect any compensation. For these reasons, proving fault is the most important aspect of your case. But how can you, or your attorney, prove that another driver was at fault?

The good news is that a car accident lawsuit uses a lower standard of proof than a criminal trial. You don’t have to prove fault beyond a reasonable doubt, but only by a preponderance of the evidence. That means you must present evidence that argues strongly for your side, making it “more likely than not” that events transpired the way you say. Evidence you might present includes:

  • Police reports — Cops responding to the scene of an accident record pertinent facts. The report may contain errors, but there might also be very useful information.
  • Photos of the scene — It’s always a good idea to take photos of the scene, if you are able. These can greatly aid in accident reconstruction.
  • Physical evidence — Accident reconstruction experts look at the damage to the vehicles, the debris field, skid marks, road conditions and other aspects of the accident scene to recreate the sequence of events that led to the crash.
  • Videos — Occasionally, an accident victim can get very lucky and discover that witnesses with cellphones, neighborhood surveillance cameras or red light cameras have captured the accident.
  • Eyewitness accounts — Although psychologists contend that eyewitness accounts are unreliable, some witnesses give very credible testimony that can sway a case.
  • Cellphone records — Many car accidents occur due to distractions. Once you file a lawsuit, your attorney can subpoena the other driver’s cellphone records to see if he or she was speaking or texting just prior to the accident.
  • Driver’s statements — A statement a driver makes at the scene is admissible evidence. In court, “I’m so sorry this happened” could be interpreted as an admission of fault.

Once the evidence is found, it must be woven into a compelling narrative that convinces a judge or jury. An experienced attorney plays a vital role by unfolding evidence in court in a manner that delivers the maximum possible impact.   

For help proving fault in your auto accident case, call Seigel Law at 201.444.4000 or contact us online. We offer free consultations to injured clients in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey.

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    By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018

    I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.

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    The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...

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    By L C - October, 2017

    After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.

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    Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.

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    I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...

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