How to Tell Who Hit Whom in a Car Accident

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Untangling Fault: How to Determine Who Hit Whom in a Car Accident

Car accidents can turn our lives upside down in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, it can be tough to pinpoint who is responsible for the mishap. These types of incidents can be sudden and unexpected, making it crucial to conduct a thorough investigation. By collecting and analyzing evidence, we can better understand what happened and determine who is at fault.

This article will tackle the determining factors in determining who hit who in a car accident, the evidence you need to provide to file a claim, the importance of gathering statements from eyewitnesses, and how a legal professional can help you through the accident.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

According to 2021 statistics, there have been 6,102,936 police-reported car accidents in the United States — 39,508 of which were fatal. Some common causes of this include:

Drunk Driving:

Reported as the top cause of car accidents in the case study released by the National Transportation Safety Board, drunk driving has caused 112,948 fatal accidents between 2005 and 2014.


Speeding is the 2nd most common cause of car accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. This caused 31% of fatal car accidents in the United States.

Distracted Driving:

Another common cause of car accidents is distracted driving. An example is when the driver uses their phone while on the road. 

Reckless Driving:

While speeding can also be considered reckless driving, other instances fall under this category. More examples of this include abrupt lane changes, tailgating, running the red light, and failure to follow traffic signs.

Vehicle Malfunction:

Some people become forgetful and don’t bother checking the condition of their cars, then only realize that something is wrong when it causes an accident. One of the most common vehicle issues is brake malfunction. 

Environmental Conditions:

The environmental conditions aren’t always perfect, increasing the possibility of vehicular accidents—cars included. Slippery roads, missing traffic signs, roadway view obstruction, and lane delineation are just some examples.

Identifying Fault After an Accident

A question often asked by people involved in a car crash is, “How can you tell who hit who in a car accident?”. Several factors can directly point to the real person at fault. So it’s important to collect necessary information through the following methods to support your claim, should you choose legal action.

Position and Location of the Vehicles:

The way the vehicles are positioned during contact is one way to check which one hit the other first. An example would be if two vehicles are going in the opposite direction and one suddenly switches to the opposite lane, then the said vehicle is the one at fault.

Another instance would be if a moving car hits a legally parked car, then the former is the one at fault. However, it may differ if the car is illegally parked as it will depend on the visibility of the vehicle when it gets hit.

Assess Vehicle Damage:

Though everything may have happened so fast, you’ll know which car hit once you thoroughly examine the damages acquired by both vehicles from the collision. There are key indicators, such as the direction of the impact. 

Gather Statements From Eyewitnesses:

Asking for statements from people at the scene of the accident is another reliable way to gather evidence since they have a better view of what happened during the time of the collision. They can easily identify who hit the other car first.

It’s crucial to do this step right away so you can get all the important details about the incident while they’re still there and can still remember the exact series of events of the crash.

Surveillance Footage:

Reviewing surveillance footage from CCTV cameras in the area or dashcams from vehicles nearby and parties involved is considered one of the strongest evidence you can get a hold of. This footage can show you different angles of the incident to help assess who the person at fault is and can also support the statements of the eyewitnesses.

What You Can Claim in Car Accident Cases

Like in most car accidents, you’re entitled to receive compensation if you don’t have a hand in what caused it. So you must take the necessary steps so you know how to tell who hit whom in a car accident to support your claim. This is an important aspect to determine if you’re eligible for compensation.

Property Damages:

If your car and personal belongings are damaged in the accident, the other party’s insurance company is required to cover the damages.

Medical Expenses:

Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you must get medical attention to ensure that nothing is wrong with you. All medical-related expenses, including medication, consultation fees, rehabilitation, surgeries, and medical tests, due to the accident will be compensated.

Lost Wages:

If you’re unable to work because of the effects of the accident, you will also be compensated for it.

Wrongful Death:

If a loved one dies because of the accident, you’re entitled to receive compensation for the funeral costs and emotional damage brought upon by the incident.

Contact a Legal Car Accident Attorney

It’s not a guarantee that both parties are willing to settle without the need to take legal action. So this would be the perfect time to contact a legal professional — a Henderson car accident attorney from Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers if you live in the area.

Our lawyers have over 53 years of experience and have successfully defended numerous car accident cases, so you’ll be in good hands! We strive to prioritize your needs to ensure that you get favorable results. Hence, we won’t charge you until you get the results you deserve.

Reach out to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers so we can start your journey towards justice.

Why Work with us?

Finding the right lawyer to represent your injury case can be extremely frustrating. However, with 35 years worth of experience and insider knowledge of how insurance companies work, the Jones Wilson law firm stands out from the crowd. Other attorneys pick and choose their clients based on case notoriety, but we’re here to help you, no matter how large or small your case.
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