Understanding Liability in Car Accidents: What You Need to Know

Understanding Liability in Car Accidents

Car accident liability refers to determining who is at fault and to what level in a car accident. After an accident, authorities or insurance companies will use motor vehicle statutes to determine whether and to what degree any violation of law about safe driving happened.

In some accidents, this can be as easy as writing a ticket for a driver who ran a red light, putting all responsibility for the accident on their chest. However, in some cases, circumstances are more complicated, such as a highway accident involving several cars, lane changes, or possible speeding violations, so it is possible that the fault of more than one person contributed to the accident.

This article will help you better understand what liability is and what else you need to know in this situation.

What is Liability?

Liability refers to something or someone being legally responsible for a certain accident or problem. It is another word for “fault”. When a driver is liable for an accident, they must pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with it.

You need to file an accident liability claim to get compensation for the harm you endured. In general, you have two main options to get compensation: filing a personal injury claim or a property damage liability claim.

The particulars differ from case to case, but each of these claims has the potential to reimburse you for a range of costs and losses.

Types of Liability

There are different types of liability when it comes to car accidents. The common ones include: 

  • Driver Liability: Liability for the accident’s consequences might rest squarely on the shoulders of the drivers who were behind the wheel. Drivers might be held liable for incidents like speeding, running red lights, being inattentive, or driving under the influence.
  • Owner Liability: If an accident occurs while the owner’s vehicle is in the possession of another person, the owner may be held liable. This usually happens when the owner carelessly lets an unqualified or inexperienced driver use their car.
  • Manufacturer Liability: The manufacturer might face legal consequences for any losses that arise from an accident caused by a manufacturing flaw. Some concerns that might result in manufacturer responsibility include defective components, faulty brakes, and malfunctioning airbags.
  • Government Liability: Accidents may happen on roads that are not properly built or maintained. The government entity in charge of building and maintaining the roads might face legal consequences in such circumstances.

Seeking Legal Assistance

What to do right after being involved in a serious car accident? As a car accident lawyer in Moreno Valley states, the most important thing is to get medical help. After that, you should seek legal assistance for advice on safeguarding your rights and interests.

Legal experts who have dealt with several instances involving car accidents may confirm the significance of hiring a lawyer immediately. How can a lawyer help you? First and most important, an experienced car accident lawyer can assist you in gathering evidence, such as witness testimonies, police records, and expert opinions, to support your case and determine fault.

In addition, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company and other parties on your behalf to get fair recompense for your injuries, property damage, medical bills, and other losses.

Why Is Liability Important for Your Injury Claim?

It is crucial to establish liability when filing an injury claim because no one can be held responsible for your accident, claim, or compensation unless there is a liability. Your lawyer may not be able to get you the compensation you deserve or negotiate with the car insurance company if no one is legally responsible for your damage.

When you begin a compensation claim with any legal firm, they will first ask you questions about the accident and its impact on your life. This will help them understand how they can assist you and determine if anyone can be held responsible for your injury.

If they determine that you have a valid claim, they may refer you to an expert lawyer to investigate your case further. Who is at blame and how may that fault be established is ultimately up to your solicitor.

What If the Other Party Denies Liability?

The opposing party’s denial of responsibility for your accident upon filing a claim is quite common. This in no way indicates that your claim has been dismissed or unsuccessful; rather, it indicates that your lawyer will seek further evidence to prove liability on the side of the other party.

Evidence may be either “newly obtained” or evidence that you have already given to your lawyer, such as records of medical procedures, images, or information about any witnesses. You may want to consider taking the other party to court after providing them with more evidence if they continue to deny responsibility.

This may seem like a huge step, but don’t worry; most cases handled by competent lawyers never set foot in a courtroom, and there are a few more steps that should be taken before a case does end up in court. 

What If You’re Partially at Fault?

In the majority of car accident cases, the blame for the accident falls on many parties. Even if you’re partly at fault, you may still be able to seek reimbursement for damages, depending on the rules of your state and your allocated degree of liability.

However, the total amount you may get is reduced by the percentage of your fault. Assume you’re 25% responsible for the accident. The maximum amount you may get is $75,000 if the entire damages amount to $100,000 ($100,000 minus 25%).

Unfortunately, car accidents happen on our roads and highways every day. Despite all the safer road design, vehicle safety features, and technological developments, there are still a lot of serious injuries and deaths caused by accidents every year.

If you find yourself in a car accident, understanding liability is crucial. Hopefully, this article successfully explained the different types of liability that can arise and provided you with the knowledge needed in such a situation.


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