How does law enforcement determine fault in an accident?

It is human nature to resist admitting guilt in a contentious situation. Few situations are more contentious than a car accident, and indeed, it is common for both drivers involved to place blame on the other. For the driver who was not at fault, this can be an intensely stressful situation, but law enforcement will typically consider the crash and determine fault based on a few different criteria. The following are three factors that law enforcement take into consideration when assessing who is at fault in an auto accident. It is important to remember that insurance companies conduct separate investigations and may assign fault differently than law enforcement.

Evidence

At the scene of a collision, there will be evidence indicating how the crash occurred. If one driver claims that the other ran a red light, for example, law enforcement can look at the placement and impact of the vehicles to assess whether this was possible. According to the Louisiana State Legislature, law enforcement should gather as much evidence as possible, including photos, in order to determine who is ultimately responsible for the collision.

Testimony

In addition to documenting the crash and making a judgment based on the evidence, law enforcement will take statements from all parties involved and incorporate this into their judgment. You will have the opportunity to describe the collision to law enforcement, and so will the other drivers and passengers involved. It is important to be specific and clear when you describe the events.

Witnesses

Finally, law enforcement will interview any witnesses who may have seen the accident and can offer an outsider's perspective of what took place. These interviews may take place at the scene of the accident or after the fact, and witnesses may also be subject to interviews by insurers, too. The events described by witnesses will be taken into account when determining fault.

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