Because Colorado is an at-fault state for car accidents, proving who caused the accident is a critical part of any case. Knowing who is to blame for causing the accident is step one in determining how to best pursue your claim for compensation. It’s up to the victim of the car accident to prove how the accident occurred.


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One of the ways that you can prove car accident fault is by examining the location of the damage on the vehicles. The location of the damage is often an important indicator of how the accident occurred and who is to blame. Here’s what you need to know about determining car accident fault by location of damage from our Colorado car accident attorneys.

How Do You Determine Car Accident Fault by Location of Damage?

To determine car accident fault by location of damage, you first look at the location of each vehicle in the seconds leading up to the accident. Then, you use the area of damage to determine likely causes of the crash and rule out unlikely causes.

For example, the location of damage can reveal if one of the drivers failed to leave enough following distance, or if a driver attempted to swerve to avoid the accident. Damage on vehicles can be conclusive and fully determine fault, or it may be only one part of the story in terms of determining car accident fault.

When Does Car Accident Damage Determine Fault?

There are some cases where car accident damage is strong evidence of fault. For example, in the case of a rear-end collision, there’s damage on the back bumper of the first car and the front end of the second car. The damage is strong evidence that the second car failed to leave enough following distance to stop in time.

A more complex case would be the case of a side-impact or T-bone crash that occurs at an intersection. The vehicle heading through the intersection suffers damage to its front end. The vehicle attempting to turn at the intersection suffers damage to the passenger side door of the vehicle. In this case, the location of the damage doesn’t directly tell the story of who is at fault for the accident. You don’t know which driver has the right of way to proceed through the intersection.

However, you can look at the damage very carefully to show whether there are any signs that either driver took evasive action to avoid the collision. For example, if the driver proceeding straight through the intersection took evasive action and turned their wheel in the seconds before the crash, the direction of impact of the damage may be turned from where it would have been if they were traveling straight at the moment of impact.

Looking directly at the angles of the damage can be a helpful way to determine what drivers were paying attention at the time of the crash and what evasive actions they took to try and avoid the collision or minimize the impact. Accident damage is often nuanced. If you pursue a car accident claim, you may work with an experienced accident reconstructionist to examine the damage to the vehicles.

Car Accident Damage and Speed

Another way that the location of damage can be an important part of proving fault in a car accident is by revealing evidence of the speed of the cars at the time of impact. Speed is a common cause of car accident injuries. Damages and injuries quickly increase in severity the faster the speed at impact.

By looking at the location of the damages, and specifically the extent of the damage and depth of impact on each vehicle, you can find some insights into the speed of the cars at the time of the crash. Professional accident experts can provide an informed opinion about the speed of the vehicles at the time of the accident.

How Do You Use Car Accident Damage to Prove Your Car Accident Case?

You use car accident damage to prove your car accident case by showing how the accident must have occurred or may have occurred based on the location of the damage. There are several ways that you can present evidence at trial. For example, you can show photos of the vehicles to the jury. There is a process for formally admitting a picture in court.

An accident reconstruction expert can also take the stand and explain to the jury what the location of the damages means. They help the jury connect the dots between the location of the damage and car accident fault. An accident reconstruction expert must be qualified based on Colorado’s court rules for qualifying an expert. They must thoroughly investigate and review the facts of the case to reach conclusions based on the evidence.

The Location of Car Accident Damage Is One Piece of a Colorado Car Accident Claim

Car accident damage may conclusively determine fault for the accident, or it may be only one part of the puzzle. While the location of damage can be extremely helpful in proving fault in a car accident case in Colorado, it’s important to remember that it’s only part of proving your case.

You should look at witness testimony, injuries, tire marks on the road, debris at the scene of the accident, police reports, statements of the parties, the weather at the time of the crash, and lots of other factors to find all of the relevant evidence in your case. Building a successful car accident case within the statute of limitations in Colorado is complex. It’s essential to evaluate the strength of each type of evidence, get multiple types of evidence, and fully prove all of the necessary elements for your case.

How Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys Can Help?

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, our Denver car accident attorneys can help you evaluate the location of the damage to your vehicle. We work with a network of qualified accident reconstruction experts. We can help you find the right expert to examine the location of the damage for critical clues about accident fault in your case.

With years of experience bringing car accident claims, we know what it takes to bring a successful accident case. The team at Bachus & Schanker LLC in Colorado can help you use the location of the damage as well as other evidence to prove fault and win the compensation that you deserve. We are conveniently located at 5 Colorado locations near you in DenverFort CollinsColorado Springs, Aurora, and Englewood. Our attorneys are ready to serve you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation.

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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus

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Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.