The convenience of various modes of transport has a downside – traffic congestion and road accidents. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that over 40,000 people died in a road crash in 2023. 

Though this figure is a decrease of 3.6% compared to the previous year, accidents are still a growing concern. This is because even one life lost is one too many. Once any car accident occurs, a complicated legal battle often ensues. 

In many cases, it can be time-consuming and challenging to discover who is at fault. This article discusses car accident lawsuits from the viewpoint of determining the liable parties.

Factors Influencing the Complexity of Car Accident Cases 

The more complex a car accident case is, the more challenging it becomes to determine who is at fault. Let’s look at some key factors that enhance the complexity of car accident claims. 

Multiple Liable Parties 

The first factor (which is also the most common) that increases the complexity of a car accident claim is the involvement of multiple liable parties. We shall use an example for better understanding. Let’s take the otherwise vibrant city of St. Louis in Missouri, which is known to be a logistics hub. 

This city has been considered to be extremely dangerous from a road safety perspective. Hence, accidents are commonplace here, even those involving large commercial trucks. When two or more mid-sized to large vehicles collide, the underlying causes can be challenging to determine. 

Usually, a St. Louis car accident attorney is needed to intervene and investigate the case from all angles. It may be found that one of the drivers was intoxicated, whereas the other got distracted at the time of the accident. 

Moreover, if a truck was involved, it may be discovered that it was overloaded with cargo. If all three factors play a role in the accident, it’s natural that ascribing an accurate degree of fault to each becomes a challenge. 

Some common causes of accidents across St. Louis include overspeeding, intoxication, young drivers, etc. Cases where large SUVs or trucks are involved can quickly become tricky and complex. 

Lack of Proper Documentation 

Any claim or legal case calls for complete and clear documentation. This would include the exchange of information in the form of details of the accident scene, medical records, photographs, etc. 

If any aspect of the accident is not properly documented, the police or insurance company will find it difficult to determine fault. This is precisely why TorHoerman Law advises those involved in a car accident to not flee the scene. 

It is vital to stay and gather evidence, witness statements, or other documents of the incident as far as possible. Moreover, medical help should be received right away to document the extent of injuries. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to secure fair compensation. 

Inconsistent Testimonies or Conflicting Statements 

In several car accident cases, the witnesses or even the victims’ statements may contradict each other. There may be discrepancies in describing the details of the event or conflicting statements on how the crash occurred. 

Will the relevant authorities get to the root of the matter? Yes, but such inconsistencies do weaken the credibility of the case. It is, therefore, essential to review all statements and even amend them before they are presented in court. 

Who Decides the At-Fault Party?

It may be tempting to believe that the only party that gets to decide who is at fault would be a jury. That is not always true because each car accident case is unique. How? Let’s look at the four commonly involved parties in determining fault. 

The Drivers Involved in the Accident

This stems from human nature. We all have the immediate urge to point fingers at each other when an accident occurs. Sometimes, a driver may be so overwhelmed by the events that they point fingers at themselves. 

If someone openly admits that they’re at fault because of distracted driving or intoxication, the matter should become straightforward. Similarly, drivers can take pictures of the scene, get witness statements, or document the accident time and location for further proof. 

The Police Report 

If the drivers fail to conclude among themselves or the accident is too gruesome, all must wait for the police to arrive. Officers will first determine if someone is hurt, after which they will generate a visual representation of the scene. 

This should help identify special circumstances, multiple liable parties, and more. Officers will also take down witness records, including those of the drivers involved. A police report may not be infallible, but can help give an idea of the at-fault parties. 

The Insurance Company 

With advanced technologies, insurance claims are becoming easier to file than ever. When images of the accident are fed into the machines, the algorithms can instantly evaluate the extent of damage. 

Since insurers have a high interest in such claims, they will do their due diligence to determine who is liable. However, they do have a notorious reputation for avoiding fair compensation for personal gain.


If the insurance company does not agree with the plaintiff’s claims, a settlement can be made through a private arbitration forum. These enterprises tend to make the process less cumbersome for insurers and can facilitate peaceful resolutions. 

The process mostly takes place electronically, where all parties sit before a computer and decide. 

A Court Jury 

As a last resort, the plaintiff may seek legal support. The court jury will be considered the ultimate arbitrator of fault. In other words, whatever verdict the jury gives must be considered final. 

In truth, even lawyers try to reach a fair settlement without any trials. This is because presenting a case before a jury is a lengthy and costly process. Hence, most civil cases do not reach this far. If they do, it may take months before a conclusive jury statement. 

Let’s draw to a close with some interesting statistics. The number of civil case filings across the US dropped by 8% in 2023. That creates much hope that perhaps many car accident claims are being settled without jury trials. In any case, determining fault is not an easy task but is a necessary evil to compensate the victim fairly.