Because car accidents can cause a substantial amount of physical and mental anguish, you may feel the need to take legal action if you have suffered in such an event. Of course, in order to file a claim against the driver considered responsible, you need an official determination of fault. Though you may know that you did not cause the accident, evidence and details of the crash require consideration.
If your accident occurred at an intersection -- as many car crashes do -- determining who had the right of way can play a significant role. However, coming to this conclusion may prove difficult if conflicting reports exist regarding what the traffic signals may have indicated at the time of the collision. Luckily, investigations and reconstructions can often help reach the correct conclusions.
If you choose to pursue a claim for compensation, you will likely need to prove the other party caused the incident and your subsequent injuries. In most cases, a police report can provide sufficient evidence for this claim. These official records should contain details regarding the incident, the reporting officer's conclusions and any citations issued. Insurance companies especially find these documents useful.
However, some drivers may attempt to argue that they did not cause the accident despite what the police report says. In the majority of crashes that occur at intersections, a left-turning driver typically holds responsibility for the incident. Therefore, if a driver turned in front of you as you traveled through an intersection, the turning driver will likely face liability due to traveling into the path of your oncoming vehicle.
Of course, additional details may affect this liability, so if you operated the turning vehicle involved in the crash, you may not face fault. If a driver approached the intersection at a high rate of speed as you attempted a left turn, he or she could hold liability for the crash. Furthermore, if the other driver ran a red light as you attempted your turn that could also place fault on that individual.
Though filing a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company can help you work toward much-needed compensation, you may face stonewalling or attempts to grant you less compensation than you may deserve. In such cases, you may wish to file a personal injury claim. An experienced Tennessee attorney could help you understand this option and explain how it could help you seek the recompense you need and desire.