Determining accident liability is very important. When liability is established right away, the process of claiming insurance can become more straightforward for the people involved, especially for the victim who’s filing a claim against the responsible party. Filing an insurance claim can be stressful enough as it is, and being able to determine and prove who’s liable for the accident immediately can help ease some of the burdens that the accident had caused. With all that being said, proving who’s liable for a car accident is not an easy task. Many factors are considered, and the process may become complicated because of these factors that’s why it’s best to seek expert legal advice after an accident.
When you hear about accidents, you automatically assume that one of the drivers involved is the only liable party and should pay for personal injury and damage to property; however, there may be times when it’s not as clear-cut as that. An example of this situation is if you get hit by a driver who’s changing lanes in front of you, and they did not use their signal light. You automatically assume that the driver who’s turning without using his blinkers is liable for the accident, but what if while he was changing lanes, you were speeding? In this case, liability is shared between the two parties involved in the accident, and this is called comparative negligence. The court would then have to decide the percentage of the accident that you are liable for and let’s say that the court determined that you are 30% responsible, then the other driver would only have to pay 70% of the total compensation for injuries and damages.
Another factor that is considered is employer responsibility. If you were in an accident that involved a commercial vehicle like a cargo van, the driver’s employer might be held liable for the accident; this can also be true for taxicabs. If the taxicab that you were in an accident with belongs to a larger organization that certifies and provides insurance for their drivers, the taxicab company may be held liable.
In some cases, car manufacturers and parts sellers can be held liable for an accident. If the car that you’ve been sold is a lemon car, or if the replacement parts that you’ve bought are proven to be defective, then you may have a case against the people who made and sold these to you. The mechanic who installed these parts could also be held liable if it’s proven that they did not do it correctly.
The state of your surroundings is also considered when determining accident liability. If traffic signage such as stop signs, speed limits, and yield signs are faded, this could lead to accidents. Driving down a road full of potholes which a driver tries to avoid could also lead to accidents. When an accident occurs because of these factors, the local government or organization responsible for the upkeep of these may be held liable.
Determining accident liability can be very complicated, and the best thing for you to do is to gather as much evidence after the accident, take pictures and write down details. Never admit fault even if you feel like you partially at-fault, and hire an attorney with car accident expertise right away.
Involved in a car accident? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice about accident liability.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.