How Is Liability Determined In A Motor Vehicle Collision?

The vast majority of motor vehicle collisions are the result of negligence, not an intent to inflict harm upon others. Because of this, it can be difficult to pinpoint which unintentional violations led to the accident and who should thus be held liable for all sustained damages. However, by taking all available evidence into consideration, determining liability can be made significantly easier.

Gathering Evidence

Evidence can take on many different forms, some of which are weighed more heavily than others.

• First, there is physical evidence. This includes vehicular damage, skid marks on the site of the accident, among other things.
• Witness testimony can also be helpful, especially when gathered early on in the process when memories are still fresh. Potential witnesses include passengers, bystanders, eyewitnesses, and so on.
• Dash cams especially can provide great video footage, but photographic evidence can also be extremely helpful in determining liability. Whether it be video surveillance, cell phone footage, the above-mentioned dash cam footage, all visual evidence can weigh heavily upon the final decision.
• Police reports bear a great weight since they are supposed to be wholly unbiased and provide needed details about the circumstances surrounding the collision. This is also where potential first testimonies may be recorded and where the officer may have made their first guess at who is at fault for causing the accident.
• While often overlooked, insurance claims may actually also be considered since they have put a monetary amount to the economic damages which have resulted from the collision.
• Medical records also factor in greatly. This makes it all the more important that you ensure that your healthcare provider documents your injuries and recovery process in great detail. The documented source and severity of your injuries and speed of recovery will have a great impact upon how the legal proceedings will turn out for you.
• Highly complex or confusing cases may be solved by using accident reconstructions. These are created using certain computer programs which will simulate how the accident must have taken place in order to result in the documented damages.
• Additional evidence can also pop up and lead to a clear outcome in the favor of one party. Sometimes a piece of evidence will be unique to a case and unexpectedly help solve it.

Determination of Fault

Additionally, there are some basics about fault and its determination. These include:
• Strict liability, which is considered despite the fault
• Recklessness
• Negligence
• Intentional harm

All provinces have multiple laws and statutes that have codified tort laws. Failure of adhering to the regulations for the safe driving practices is an act of negligence and makes you liable in an accident. Thus, it is important to consult with an injury lawyer in Waterloo to know what works in your case.

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