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Determining Liability in a Car Accident Case

— March 29, 2022

If you are liable in a car accident case, you become responsible for damages that include medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.

Most car accident cases will turn on liability or who was at fault for the collision. Insurance companies and courts will look at several factors to determine fault, including the driver’s actions leading up to the accident, any traffic violations committed, and eyewitness testimony.

If you get involved in a car accident, it’s important to understand how liability is determined to protect your legal rights.

What is Liability in a Car Accident Case

Determining liability in a car accident case is complex. The essential aspect to understand is that there are two types of liability: fault and strict.

Fault cases are based on the idea that one driver caused the accident, while in a strict liability case, it doesn’t matter who was at fault because both drivers share responsibility for what happened.

How to Determine Liability in a Car Crash Case?

Numerous factors come into play when determining liability in a car accident case. The essential ones are the cause of the accident and the injuries suffered by the victims. To prove fault, you need to show that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) led to the accident. If the victim can’t prove fault, they may still win a case based on strict liability.

Factors considered when determining liability in a car crash case:

  • The cause of the accident
  • The injuries suffered by the victims
  • Who was at fault
  • The amount of damage suffered by the vehicles involved
  • The type of insurance coverage each driver has
  • The jurisdiction where the case gets filed

What Are the Consequences if You Are Liable in a Car Accident Case?

If you are liable in a car accident case, you become responsible for damages that include medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. You may also be subject to criminal penalties, such as jail time or a fine.

Image of a jail cell
Jail Cell; image courtesy of AlexVan via Pixabay,

It’s important to remember that liability can get shared in a car accident case, so even if you aren’t found solely responsible, you may still be liable for some of the damages.

How Can You Protect Yourself From Becoming Liable in a Car Accident Case?

The most important preventive method is to drive safely and obey the law at all times. You should also ensure you have the appropriate insurance coverage and know your rights and responsibilities. If you get involved in an accident, it’s crucial to get in touch with a New York City car accident lawyer now, so they can help you protect your rights.

Considerations on Proving Negligence

When you file for compensation, the first thing you need to do is prove negligence. Negligence is the legal term for someone who breaches their duty of care and causes an injury. Four elements have to be proven to establish negligence:

  • Duty of care: The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. You can establish this by showing that the defendant had a relationship with the plaintiff, such as employer-employee or driver-passenger.
  • Breach of duty: The defendant must have breached the duty of care.
  • Causation: The defendant’s said breach of duty must have caused the car accident.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must have suffered damages due to the accident. You can show this by proving that they incurred medical expenses, lost wages, or suffered any other type of loss.

If you can prove all four elements, you will successfully establish negligence. This can help you recover damages for your injuries.

The Bottom Line

The determination of liability in a car accident case can be complex. Many factors need to get considered, such as the actions of both drivers and the road condition. To establish who is at fault for an accident, the court will look at all available evidence.

This may include witness testimony, police reports, and photos or videos of the accident scene. If you get injured in a car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

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