Every year, more than three million persons across the United States are injured in car accidents. About two million of those may experience permanent injuries as a result of their accident. One of the most serious concerns many people face following a car accident is “Who is liable when I’m injured?”
There are several questions you’ll need to ask in order to determine liability in your car accident case.
Who Was Responsible for the Accident?
Determining who was responsible for the accident itself can be difficult. In rear-end collisions, where one car runs directly into the rear end of another, the driver of the back car is usually considered to be responsible. A look at the damage to the vehicles involved can help establish liability, as can witness testimony. Police officers and lawyers may ask several questions to help determine liability.
- Was one driver behaving erratically behind the wheel? Did they display behaviors like failing to follow traffic laws, running red lights, or excessive speeding?
- Was one of the drivers driving while distracted or driving under the influence?
- Were there geographic features that might have contributed to the accident?
In some cases, both drivers involved in the accident may have borne partial responsibility for the accident. For example, two drivers at a stop sign who were both looking down at their phones instead of paying attention to the road may bear equal liability in the accident. If you were partially liable for your accident, the payment you deserve for your injuries may be reduced accordingly. Generally, this is done based on a percentage of the otherwise awarded damages amount.
Other Factors in Determining Liability
Knowing which vehicle was responsible for an accident is key in determining liability, but it’s not the only factor that’s important. There are several other questions that require answers.
- Was the responsible driver in a company vehicle at the time of the accident? Were they on the clock? In some cases, if the responsible driver was using a company vehicle, the company may bear partial liability for the accident. This is especially true if the driver was known to drink and drive or drive recklessly and was still employed by the company.
- Was the responsible driver drinking? If the driver responsible for the accident was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s important to identify when they consumed that alcohol. If it was consumed at home, they bear full responsibility on their own. On the other hand, if a bar or restaurant over-served the driver knowing that they would be driving, they may bear partial liability for the accident.
Determining full liability after a car accident can be difficult. Consulting with a car accident lawyer can help you better understand who is liable for injuries or damages that you experienced during your collision. If you were injured in a car accident, contact Tenge Law Firm online today or call at (303) 665-2929 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your accident and your injuries.