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How Is Fault Determined In a Car Accident?

Posted on: December 14, 2016 by Edwards & Patterson Law

car accident

The State of Oklahoma is what is known as a tort state, or fault state, which means that a driver who is at fault in a car accident is required to pay for a victim’s medical expenses. This contrasts with no-fault states in which drivers injured in an accident are covered by their own insurance providers regardless of who was at fault.

Oklahoma is also a shared fault state, meaning that the law recognizes that more than one driver may be at fault, in which case it must be determined what percentage of fault each driver is responsible for.

There are multiple factors to consider when determining who is at fault in a car accident. There may be a combination of factors, or a single factor, that establishes which driver is liable. Some considerations when determining fault include:

  • Police Report – An accident involving injuries will require a police response as well as emergency medical personnel. The police report of the accident is regarded as an official, and reliable, evaluation of the conditions surrounding the accident. This is a key factor in establishing who was at fault.
  • Obedience to Traffic Laws and Control Signals – A driver will be found to be at least partially at fault if it is determined that the driver failed to obey a traffic signal or traffic laws applicable to where the accident occurred, such as exceeding the speed limit.
  • Pedestrian Crosswalks – Not only drivers can be at fault in a car accident. Pedestrians are required to use crosswalks when crossing roads. Failure to obey the law can be considered contributory negligence.
  • Comparative Negligence – In an accident in which more than one driver is negligent, a driver who is at least 51% responsible for the accident is not eligible for compensation.

In the event of a car accident, gathering evidence is essential to determining who is at fault. An experienced Personal Injury Attorney knows what information to collect and how to get it. Your lawyer will protect your rights and your interests, and get you the results you want in a court of law.

If you are the victim of a car accident in Oklahoma or Arkansas, contact Edwards & Patterson Law. We use the full extent of our experience and knowledge to win our clients the compensation they deserve.

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