Determining Liability in a Car Accident

  • Home
  • /
  • Determining Liability in a Car Accident

Who is liable in a car accident?

Car accidents occur for a variety of reasons. It’s difficult to determine who is to blame for the collision. If a vehicle driver was found speeding and transporting illicit goods or changing lanes illegally, the driver(s) involved will be held accountable for the accident.

The legal definition of “fault” is used in determining liability in a car accident for damage, injuries, medical expenses, and other issues caused by automobile collisions. In the instance of a motorcycle accident, if the motorcyclist fails to wear a helmet and is responsible for an accident that results in a substantial brain injury, they are typically at fault.

It is important to remember that all vehicle drivers need to understand that they need to obey the rules to avoid accidents. Whenever any violations are found, any vehicle, whether a car or motorcycle, will have to pay fines and charges for the traffic violations. The best way to avoid having to pay for damages is by being a safe driver.

Liabilities And Common Law For Car Accidents

The legal system in most countries is based on common law, which means that car accident victims can sue the at-fault driver to recover damages. To determine the fault, the courts will look at the actions of each driver leading up to the accident. 

If one driver was speeding, ran a red light, or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that driver will likely be found at fault.  It is the general rule that the person who has committed the ‘fault’ will have to pay for all the damages that have been caused by this accident.

There are four types of basic faults that the law commonly recognizes in car accidents:

  1. Negligence:

 This is the most common type of fault and is generally determined by who was careless or reckless in operating their vehicle.  For instance, in drunk and driving accidents, the drunk driver will be considered negligent because they made the decision to drive while intoxicated.

Contributory negligence is a defense to negligence, and is when the victim of an accident was also careless or negligent in some way.

An example of this would be if the victim of an accident was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, which resulted in more serious injuries.

  1. Recklessness or wanton conduct

This is when a driver intentionally ignores the risks of driving and operates their vehicle in a dangerous manner. An example of this would be street racing.

  1. Intentional misconduct:

If a driver intentionally causes an accident, they can be held liable for any resulting damages. An example of this would be if a driver deliberately ran into another vehicle or pedestrian.

  1. Strict liability:

This type of fault applies in certain situations, such as when a defective car part causes an accident. If a car accident was caused by a defective car part, the manufacturer of the defective part can be held liable regardless of whether they were actually at fault for the accident.

For example, if a car’s brakes fail and the driver crashes into another vehicle, the manufacturer of the defective brakes can be held liable.

How Do The Police Find The Cause Of Traffic Accidents?

A law enforcement officer is responsible for the determination of liability in case of road accidents. A law enforcement officer may be a police officer, traffic officer, or state highway patrol trooper on the scene.

An officer ‘s determination is based on the information given by the drivers and witnesses, as well as any physical evidence at the scene of the accident. It is important to call 911 right away, so that a law enforcement officer can come to the scene and make an accurate report.

Who Is Liable in a Car Accident If you want to file a claim, you must collect the police accident report after an accident. The police will create a report that has all the information related to the accident so that it can be determined who is at fault for the accident.

A law enforcement officer who is an expert in car crash investigations will investigate and analyze everything diligently. He or she will be unbiased throughout the process to determine ‘fault’ for an accident. Moreover, juries and car insurance companies play an essential role in strengthening the case base.

Having a legal professional on your side to guide and protect your interests is paramount if you have been involved in a car accident. A lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for the accident and offer guidance on what to do next.

Law Enforcement At The Scene Of An Accident

After an accident, all drivers should stop their vehicles as soon as it is safe to do so, and they should remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives.

If possible, drivers should move their vehicles to the side of the road or to a safe location off the road to avoid blocking traffic. If a driver cannot move their vehicle, they should turn on their hazard lights to warn other drivers of the accident.

Once law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will assess the situation and determine who is at fault for the accident. The responding officer will then issue a ticket if any of the drivers violated traffic laws and/or create a report that includes all pertinent information about the accident.

This report can be used by insurance companies to determine who is liable for the damages. It contains information such as the names and contact information of the drivers involved, as well as any witnesses to the accident. The report will also include a diagram of the accident scene and the officer’s assessment of who is at fault.

The evidence collected at the scene of the accident, as well as the testimony of witnesses, can be used to determine who is at fault. In some cases, liability may be apportioned among the drivers involved in the accident.

In order to help your case, you may want to take evidence so that you do not have to rely solely on what the police have gathered. You may want to take some of the following steps at the scene of the accident:

  1. Get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
  2. Take photos of the damage to both vehicles involved in the accident, as well as any skid marks or other evidence at the scene.
  3. Take photos of the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
  4. Write down a detailed description of the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
  5. Get the name, badge number, and contact information of the responding officer.

A lawyer can help you understand the evidence that will be most helpful in determining who is at fault for the accident and guide you through the process of filing a claim.

Consequences of filing a lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit is a decision that should not be made lightly. If you win your case, you may be awarded damages to compensate you for your injuries, but if you lose, you will not receive anything.

An adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company may also contact you after the accident and try to get you to settle your case without filing a lawsuit.

Typically, lawsuits are filed against the at-fault driver rather than the vehicle insurance company. The other driver’s insurance provider will hire a lawyer to defend their insured person, and you’ll be up against an experienced legal team.

This is why it is so important to have a lawyer on your side who can level the playing field and fight for the compensation you deserve.

If you pursue your claim, the court will decide who is at fault for the accident, and if the other driver is found to be at fault, they will be ordered to pay damages.

In the event of Death caused by another’s carelessness

In the event that someone is killed as a result of another driver’s negligence, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death claim can be brought against the driver who caused the accident, as well as anyone else who may be responsible, such as the owner of the car or the company that employs the driver.

The elements of a wrongful death claim are:

  1. The death of a human being;
  2. Caused by the negligence or wrongfully of another;
  3. The survivors are suffering financial harm as a result of the death.

In order to prove these elements, the victim’s family will need to gather evidence and testimony from witnesses to the accident. A lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a wrongful death claim and ensure that you are able to recover the damages you are entitled to.

The amount of money awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit will depend on a number of factors, such as the victim’s age, their earning potential, and the financial contribution they made to the family. The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit include funeral and burial expenses, lost income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a complex legal process, and it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to help you through it.

An attorney can help you every step of the way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can gather all the necessary evidence and help determine ‘fault’ in the accident, manage all communication with the insurance companies, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If a fair settlement can’t be reached, a lawyer can take your case to trial.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact our law firm today. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers will examine your case and help you understand your legal options.


Free Consultation