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The at-fault element of a car accident

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2022 | Firm News

Auto accidents could leave the victims fighting for their lives, and some don’t win. Fatal auto accidents claim many lives in Oklahoma every year. Other accidents lead to injuries that upend people’s careers and family responsibilities. Even accidents that cause only property damage create troubles for victims, leaving them seeking financial compensation from the responsible party. Questions will then arise about who was responsible for the collision.

Negligence and auto accidents

If someone passes another vehicle on the right and then slams the brakes at a red light, the other car may rear-end the stopped driver. The injured driver might not have a claim since they drove recklessly and committed a moving violation. Essentially, the driver that crashed into the other car might not be negligent. Eyewitness accounts could help establish that fact.

Ultimately, negligence and liability refer to whose actions or non-actions caused someone else to experience harm or losses. Certain behaviors could leave a defendant looking negligent for a collision. Speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving are common types of negligence.

Establishing and determining fault

Investigations conducted after auto accidents may reveal who is at fault for the crash. Determining fault does not mean one party is or isn’t at fault. Both or multiple parties could be liable for an accident. Sometimes, a third party, such as a dealership that knowingly sold a defective vehicle, could be responsible for a collision.

One driver might be 70% at fault in a two-car collision, and the other is 30% at fault. Such situations may affect how a jury awards damages.

Not all accidents lead to a complex civil lawsuit, though. An insurance claim against the negligent driver’s liability coverage could result in a settlement. Sometimes, the settlement may be substantial.

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