Determining Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident

Car accident victims often have a number of concerns after their collision, including how to secure compensation to account for injuries and losses. At its core, the central legal question that is integral to winning a claim is: who is at fault in a car accident? The team at Wenholz | Dow, P.C., Trial Lawyers in Austin, TX, has been representing car accident victims for 20 years, successfully establishing fault and negligence to secure the compensation his clients deserve. We can guide you in what to do, as well as what not to do, following a crash. If you have been involved in an accident, contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation and review your legal options.

image of car accident
After a car accident, it is critical to establish fault in order to determine compensation.

Comparative Negligence

Car accident victims are often surprised to learn that even if they are partially at fault for an accident, they still may stand to win compensation. A legal concept known as comparative negligence allows for a reduction in the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover if it is determined that the plaintiff's own negligence contributed to the accident and subsequent injuries.

If a jury finds that a plaintiff is 50 percent or less at fault, they can receive compensation at a reduced rate that reflects the degree to which they were responsible. A plaintiff will be deprived of compensation altogether if they are found to have contributed to the accident by 51 percent or more.

While this may be good news to car accident victims who are already aware that they contributed in part to an accident, it can take other victims by surprise. Car accident victims who submit a claim or go to trial believing they have a solid case may feel slighted when the defense produces evidence that illustrates or suggests the plaintiff is in part to blame. In such instances, damages to the plaintiff can be reduced or altogether nullified.

Proving the Other Party’s Fault

When building a successful case, we need to produce as much evidence as possible to substantiate your claim. Key pieces of documentation include:

  • Police reports
  • Witnesses statements
  • Statements made to insurance adjusters
  • Event data recorder (EDR)
  • Photographs or videography of the scene and injuries
  • Medical records
  • Expert witness testimony

After you have been in an accident, it is critical that you not admit guilt to anyone, as this can imply your culpability. You should also refrain from speaking with your insurance adjusters or any insurance representative from the opposing party. Adjusters are well-trained in tactics to minimize pay-outs and can cause unwitting victims to admit or agree to something that undermines their claim.

Entrust Your Case to Our Team

If you have sustained injuries in an accident, we strongly advise that you seek legal representation. A car accident lawyer will have a deep understanding of the personal injury laws and vehicle codes, and can strategically present evidence to make persuasive arguments. Additionally, an attorney will be very familiar with the extensive tactics insurance carriers employ to stall or deny claims, and can diligently fight them to secure the compensation you deserve.

Accident victims with a viable claim can rely on us to handle further legal proceedings, dealing with insurance adjusters to protect you from insufficient settlements

During your consultation, our team can review all documentation, information, and facts surrounding your case. If possible, you should bring the police report, witness testimonies, and any photographic evidence to this initial meeting. Accident victims with a viable claim can rely on us to handle further legal proceedings, dealing with insurance adjusters to protect you from insufficient settlements. Using his extensive resources and vast network, he can review and present all relevant material to strengthen your claim. In addition, he will never collect any fees until he secures a just settlement or a trial victory. As such, you can focus on recovery.

David C. Wenholz and J. Luke Dow

Wenholz | Dow, P.C., Trial Lawyers

The team of attorneys at Wenholz | Dow, P.C., Trial Lawyers in Austin, TX, represents victims of car and truck accidents, construction accidents, defective products, and more. Our attorneys prepare every case with the intention of going to trial, and we do not settle for anything less than the best possible outcome for our clients.

Our lawyers are affiliated with the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

To request a consultation with our team, please fill out our online form or call (512) 478-2211.

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