top of page

The Role of Skid Marks in Determining Car Accident Fault

When liability in a car accident in Los Angeles is disputed, skid marks can play a critical role in determining fault. Skid marks, which can take many forms, refer generally to any marks left on the roadway from a vehicle's tires. These marks provide insights into the actions and conditions leading up to the collision including vehicle speed, direction, and driver behavior at the time of the incident. Forensic analysis of skid marks can thus be a pivotal element in reconstructing the sequence of events, helping personal injury attorneys and accident reconstruction experts establish a clearer picture of responsibility.

Here's how various types of skid marks help reconstruct an accident:

  • Length of Skid Marks: This can help estimate a vehicle's speed at the time of braking, considering the friction coefficient of the road surface. Such analysis can indicate whether a vehicle was speeding or if the driver attempted to stop before the crash.

  • Starting Point of Skid Marks: The initial location of skid marks can reveal the vehicle's position on the road prior to the accident, which is crucial for determining liability. For instance, skid marks starting in an oncoming traffic lane suggest wrongful road positioning.

  • Short Skid Marks: These may indicate that the driver had little or no warning before encountering an obstacle, providing insights into the suddenness of the event leading to the accident.

  • Dotted Skid Marks: Unique to vehicles with Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), these marks show that the ABS was engaged, suggesting an attempt by the driver to maintain control and prevent the wheels from locking.

  • Yaw Marks are produced when a vehicle slides sideways, indicating that it was in a rotational motion. These marks can help reconstruct how the vehicle was maneuvering prior to the impact, showing whether the driver lost control

Given that skid marks typically fade within a few weeks, it is important after any serious car accident to retain a law firm that will conduct a prompt investigation to record the location, dimensions and other unique characteristics of any skid marks left at the scene


Obtaining a settlement that adequately covers your immediate and future needs can be a challenging task, even when there's clear evidence of wrongdoing and negligence by the offending party. In such cases, an experienced attorney can provide crucial assistance in navigating the legal complexities involved. If you have been injured in an accident, contact Phillips & Associates at (818) 348-9515 for a free consultation today. We will work diligently and aggressively towards securing the best possible outcome in your case.


bottom of page