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Proving a Driver Was At Fault in a Car Accident

According to the World Health Organization, (WHO) traffic-related fatalities have increased dramatically since the year 2016. Traffic-related fatalities have surpassed HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis to become the eighth biggest cause of mortality for persons of all ages.

“Road safety is an issue that does not receive urgent attention, and it is the greatest opportunity to save lives worldwide,” said Michael Bloomberg, former New York mayor, and WHO global ambassador.

Car accidents are rampant, and it is often clear which vehicles were involved; however, who was at fault is usually hotly debated. This article explores how to prove a driver was at fault for an accident.

Collision laws and facts

The sheer occurrence of an accident does not imply that someone was to blame. There are accidents due to traffic faults, bad weather, and many more. Accidents where it is unclear how they occurred, the vehicles involved, or the specific mechanism of the accident do exist.

For example, when a car runs off a freeway with dry roads under good weather conditions or when a road user is hit by an automobile while standing roadside. In these cases, the law may give a shortcut to determining who will take responsibility or how they were at fault.

Suppose the scenario would not normally occur without negligence, and the cause of the event was an agent causing harm under the exclusive influence of a defendant. In that case, there is a basis for Res Ipsa Loquitur. Res Ipsa Loquitur translates to “the thing speaks for itself.” This also holds when no one else, including the injury victim, could have triggered the accident. It allows an inference that the defendant could cause harm.

The defendant is then given a chance to submit a credible alternative explanation for the source of the injury that does not constitute negligence. The jury may accept that explanation and return a defense judgment or, under Res Ipsa Loquitur, find the defendant accountable even without direct proof of carelessness. This is, in essence, just half the solution.

If a vehicle waits for traffic to clear before approaching an intersection highway, and then that driver is unexpectedly hit from behind by another vehicle. In this scenario, a trier of fact may properly infer carelessness on the part of the second vehicle driver based on that inference.

This is a rebuttable presumption under the law, which means the defendant must provide a credible, non-negligent explanation for why they rammed the vehicle in front. If the defendant fails to present non-disputable and non-negligent evidence or explanation for the cause of the accident, they will be at fault under the law.

“A lot can happen when proving fault after a dangerous car accident,” says accident attorney Daniel Libbey of  Libbey Law Offices LLC. “It is important to collect evidence and contact legal counsel to help understand your potential compensation.”

With these practices, accident victims can be identified in unclear accident scenarios, and adequate compensation can be provided for them.


Drivers who show negligence and feign ignorance in collisions must take responsibility for the accidents they directly or indirectly influence. Certain laws state they must also be made to face the voice of the law and pay for their negligence or willful ignorance.

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