WHO IS LIABLE FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?
Questions of fault are often fairly simple after a car accident: either one of the drivers is totally responsible, or both of the drivers share the blame. However, even if your case seems straightforward, it is important not to assume that recovering compensation is easy.
It is in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. Your lawyer will investigate the claim and hold the at-fault driver and any other parties accountable for your injuries.
The parties that may be liable for the accident vary depending on the circumstances of your case. They could include:
THE AT-FAULT DRIVER
Most car accident claims are filed against the driver who caused the crash and no one else. Or, more specifically, the claim is filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
However, liability can be complicated even when only you and another driver are involved in the accident. Circumstances that may complicate your claim include:
Hit-and-run accidents: The at-fault driver in these cases may be unknown.
Uninsured driver accidents: You may need to file a claim directly against the at-fault driver if no insurance coverage is available.
Underinsured driver accidents: The at-fault driver has insurance, but the policy doesn’t fully cover the damages you have suffered.
With each of these examples, it is in your best interest to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can advise you of your legal options and promptly investigate the accident to make sure all liable parties are held accountable.
A VEHICLE MANUFACTURER
Multiple automakers have come under fire in recent years for producing vehicles and parts with significant defects. These defective components have resulted in a number of accidents in which people have suffered serious injury or died.
If you were in an auto accident caused by a faulty part whether, on your own vehicle or someone else’s vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability claim.
Defective product claims are complex. Cases involving vehicle defects often require taking action against major corporations with significant financial resources and legal teams.
Do not let these factors deter you from seeking justice for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. At Patrick Daniel Law, our attorneys meticulously build the strongest possible case on your behalf and mercilessly fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
A COMMERCIAL BUSINESS
Driving is part of the job description in many occupations. Unfortunately, commercial drivers don’t always exercise the caution they should be behind the wheel, resulting in serious accidents.
Commercial vehicle accidents come in many different forms, including crashes that involve:
Delivery vans and trucks
Taxis, limousines, and town cars
Personal vehicles used for deliveries and ride-sharing
When a commercial vehicle collides with a passenger vehicle, both the driver and his or her employer can be held liable for the accident. The insurance company for the employer may try to argue that the employee is an independent contractor or not driving in an official capacity at the time of the accident. Your lawyer needs to be prepared to dispute these arguments and pursue compensation from all liable parties.
AN ALCOHOL PROVIDER
If someone goes to a bar, has too much to drink, gets behind the wheel, and causes an accident, you may assume that the driver is the only person responsible for your injuries. However, you may also be able to pursue compensation from the bar, restaurant, or another alcohol provider.
This is known as dram shop liability. In Texas and most other states, businesses that sell alcohol have an obligation to avoid serving an obviously intoxicated person. Some states including Texas also have provisions where social hosts i.e., private individuals providing alcohol to guests can be liable for overserving as well.
If a business or social host fails in this obligation and the intoxicated individual hurts someone else, the business or social host can be held vicariously liable for the drunk driving accident.
To recover damages, it is crucial to prove that the provider knew or should have known that the guest or patron was intoxicated. An experienced lawyer will investigate the facts and determine the alcohol provider’s role in causing your injuries.
A GOVERNMENT AGENCY
Different agencies are responsible for building and maintaining our nation’s roads. Negligent construction and maintenance of roads can result in serious accidents whether the dangerous condition occurs on an interstate highway or a local street.
In these circumstances, the government agency that commissioned the road or is responsible for its upkeep may be liable if you were injured in an accident caused by unsafe conditions. The contractor or subcontractor involved in construction may also be liable if the crash stemmed from errors when the road was built.
CONTACT US FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM
As you can see, liability in car accident claims isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Delay may cost valuable evidence that can be used to hold all of the at-fault parties accountable.