Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?
Determining the guilty party for an accident is not always straightforward. Sometimes there is a difference between who caused the accident and who is considered legally responsible. The person who is at fault, however, may have to pay for the damages caused by his or her negligence.
Typically the at-fault driver must pay for the damages he or she caused in a car accident (read more about the common causes of auto accidents). But, police, insurance companies, and even courts may have a different opinion depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.
Violating Traffic Laws
In most cases, the party that violates traffic laws is held responsible for the accident. For example, an individual was speeding; therefore, he or she could not stop in time and caused an accident. Or, the individual ran a stop light, crashing into another vehicle.
But, breaking traffic laws do not always mean the party is automatically guilty or that they will share full responsibility for the accident and damages caused.
Third Party Considerations
Sometimes a party that was not present at the accident can be at fault for the accident. For example, a car manufacturer had a defective brake system on their vehicle.
Therefore, when the vehicle’s brakes malfunctioned, causing the accident, the manufacturer was at fault – not the driver of the vehicle. Third parties are not just manufacturers, they can also be physicians, insurance companies, employers, etc.
What if Both Parties are at Fault?
There are instances where both parties are at fault. For example, you were injured in an accident because another driver rear-ended you, but most of your injuries are because you were not wearing a seatbelt.
Therefore, the driver is responsible for causing the accident, but you are partially at fault because you chose to not wear a seatbelt.
Preventing the Blame Game
The blame game can easily occur after an accident. Whether it is the other party or his or her insurer, no one wants to take the blame for an accident – especially one that caused extensive damages and injuries.
To help prevent the blame game, there are steps you should take immediately after an accident such as gathering witness statements and names, getting a copy of the police report, etc.
Also, it is in your best interest to hire a Daytona Beach personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you not only file your claims, but ensure that the at-fault party is held responsible for his or her actions.
Get a free case evaluation with the car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton today by calling 386-274-2229.
- What is Comparative Fault in an Auto Accident in Florida?
- 6 Car Accident FAQs for Unusual Accidents
- How Your Car Accident Lawyer Wins Your Injury Claim
- The First Steps after a Car Accident are Critical