Understanding Possible Liability In Car Accidents

Understanding Possible Liability In Car Accidents

Car accidents: they’re some of the most serious incidents that can occur and often leave thousands of people dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath each year. They occur far too often and the worst part is, they’re most often preventable.

After a car accident, there are a lot of things that need to be considered and the victims are left with several questions. How serious are the injuries and will I be able to work? What am I going to do about medical expenses? What are my legal options?

Understanding the legal process following a car crash can help those who have been hurt feel peace of mind when it comes to what to expect. Part of this means understanding who can be held liable in various types of accidents and what legal action you may be able to take against that party.

Situations When a Driver Is At Fault

In most cases of car accidents, it is a negligent driver who is going to be considered at fault for the injuries caused. This is because drivers the ones who make the decisions to be reckless in the way they operate a vehicle.

Typically, this occurs in accidents involving drunk driving, distracted driving, fatigued driving, or any other actions in which the driver breaks the law, such as speeding or ignoring traffic laws. These are decisions made by the driver that puts others at direct risk of serious harm.

For instance, if a driver checks his or her phone while driving, they’re typically taking their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel. This could easily lead to the driver swerving into another lane or failing to stop when approaching halted traffic.

When Is a Third Party At Fault?

There are some situations in which other parties may be at fault for the accident caused. These situations can put liability on a third party for their contribution to the crash. Typically, the third parties who are most often liable for injuries caused in a car crash can include:

  • Auto part manufacturers: These companies are expected to make sure the parts they sell to consumers are safe for use. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and there are times when an error results in a malfunctioning part. One example of this is when brakes fail, preventing a driver from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a crash.
  • Bars, establishments, or social hosts: Some cases allow for the victim to file third-party lawsuits in drunk driving accidents when a bar, establishment, or social host serves alcohol to an already visibly intoxicated driver and allows them to drive.
  • Government entities: If you’ve ever driven on the streets and saw potholes, missing traffic signs, or anything that could be considered a dangerous road hazard, know that these can cause serious accidents. When one of these hazards causes a crash, it may be the fault of a government entity responsible for maintaining the roads.
  • Passengers in a vehicle: When passengers are acting in a manner that causes distraction to a driver, they may be considered to have some responsibility in the injury-causing accident. Unfortunately, their actions directly impact how the driver operates the vehicle and things that impair the vision, hearing, or other senses of a driver can be dangerous.

These parties can all play a factor in how a crash occurs and when their actions are considered negligent, they may be held accountable for the injuries sustained by the victim. The driver may still hold some liability, but they would not be the only person considered responsible.

How Is Liability Proven In a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, knowing which parties may be considered responsible is not enough to go through with a personal injury lawsuit. Liability is one of the most important aspects to consider and proving that someone was in fact at fault for an accident requires legal knowledge.

In order to prove someone is liable, the following must be shown:

  • The responsible driver had a duty of care to protect other drivers on the road and look out for their safety.
  • The responsible driver acted negligently, resulting in a breach of that duty of care.
  • The negligent action directly resulted in the crash.
  • The crash was the cause of the victim’s injury.

In many situations, the insurance company for the defendant will try to prove that the injury was pre-existing or that negligence did not play a factor in the crash. They may even try to put the blame on you as the plaintiff. Having skilled legal counsel on your side can help combat this effectively.

Why Choose Our Springfield Car Accident Attorneys?

When it comes to legal representation, you want to be sure you’re choosing a strong team with a dedication and commitment to helping you seek the results you deserve. You want to have a firm who knows what it takes to prove liability.

At Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C., we go the extra mile for you. Our Springfield car accident lawyers seek the most favorable outcome possible on your behalf, but we also seek justice because nobody should have to suffer at the hands of someone else’s negligence.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, make sure you speak with someone who understands the legal process, can determine the best options for you, and works to build a strong and compelling case on your behalf.

Call our legal team today at (417) 855-2022 to discuss your potential case in a free consultation. We’re here for you and ready to help.

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