Who is Liable for My Accident?October 16, 2019
Car accidents can be scary with damages or injuries causing a lengthy aftermath. Luckily, insurance can often help, but how do you determine liability for the accident itself? There are several factors that help determine fault. State legislatures now base liability more on motor vehicle statutes than on common law. Being considered at-fault for a car accident is either created by law or defined within common law. Under common law, there are four levels of fault:
- Strict Liability
Negligence is careless conduct that results in harm to another. Failing to do something required, such as stopping at a stop sign, can make an individual negligent. Recklessness is wanton conduct or willful disregard for the safety and welfare of another. However, in certain cases for accidents involving specific defective products or hazardous activities, strict liability law may be imposed, regardless of whether fault exists.
Under common law, those who caused an accident are considered to have committed a tort, and are referred to as tortfeasors. To prove negligence, you must prove that there was a:
- Breach of that Duty
You first must ask whether the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff but failed to carry out that duty. You must also prove that this breach of duty caused the damages, if the damages would have occurred but-for the breach of duty, and whether the damages are the direct cause of the accident. Finally, you must prove that there have in fact been damages to the car or for pain and suffering from an injury. Most situations involving accidents stem from negligence.
Intentional or Reckless Behavior
When an individual has engaged in intentional or reckless behavior that causes an accident, it is easy to place liability, but when an accident is caused by negligence, establishing liability can be more difficult. More than one motorist can be considered at-fault for an accident. When more than one person is found to be at-fault, the state law determines who pays for damages and injuries.
Presumption of Fault for Statute Violations
Each state has its own statutes regarding how a vehicle must be operated. A violation of any of these laws is usually considered negligence as a matter of law. An individual who violated a statute has the responsibility of proving that this violation did not proximately cause the accident, as is generally presumed. The easiest way to answer this question is to establish if the accident would have still taken place if not for the breach of duty.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Injured Motorists
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident, a Media car accident lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can help. We have experience determining liability and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, call us today at 610-892-4940 or contact us online. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.