When someone is injured in an automobile accident, insurance companies must try to determine who is at fault as accurately as possible. Incidents that involve more than just damage to property can end up being quite serious, so an expert interpretation of the situation is critical. Many injury-related claims end up with one or both parties involved enlisting the services of injury lawyers if fault is not blatantly obvious, since the repercussions faced with being “at fault” can being very serious. There is no room for error, so the judgement is frequently left to the legal system.
Who Is Liable for Injury In An Auto Accident?
In accidents where injury has occurred and someone must be named responsible, the usual rule of thumb in most states is the person who was careless or negligent, and caused the events, is liable. If more than one person displayed negligence or carelessness, the one who was the most careless, or whose actions are more attributable to causing the injuries, is deemed liable. Liability does not automatically mean careless or negligent however, since there are so many ways that accidents can occur. Determining the difference is key in order to appropriately assign not just fault, but financial responsibility for accident and injury claims.
Liability Does Not Always Rest Solely with the One At Fault
Liability for injury sustained in auto accidents can extend beyond a driver, or person who actually caused the event to occur in some cases, too. If a person was driving while on duty and working for an employer, there was some kind of negligence caused by an outside party not actually in the vehicle, carelessness or faultiness of property or roads, or some other way in which a person’s ability to control their vehicle was affected, these aforementioned parties can end up liable. It is the same in cases where vehicles or other products involved are found to have failed somehow, mechanically, thus creating the dangerous situation.
When the Liable Person Is Injured As Well
Insurance typically covers both sides of the incident, to the extent of the actual coverage being paid for. injury lawyers suggest that in certain cases this means even the person who may be liable for the injuries of others can get at least some coverage for their own injuries in some states. It is important to point out however, that if the liable party is found to have behaved carelessly or negligently as well, the extent of their coverage could be limited.
What can make these situations particularly difficult is that there is no written law on how to handle any one accident claim, since every situation happens differently. Instead, between police and witness reports, and evidence such as the damage and injuries sustained, companies – and more likely lawyers – end up piecing the puzzle together of what actually happened and why, with every person’s involvement weighed as necessary to determine liability, and those parties responsible for paying for injuries and other damages.
In cases where the person found to be liable also has injury claims, laws in each state determine the amount of compensation a person is permitted to, if any. Insurance policies are generally written to reflect these state rules.
If you have been involved in an auto accident and you or someone else sustained injuries, correctly proving who is at fault, and then who is liable, is critical. Injury lawyers recommend securing an attorney experienced in this area of law, who has the ability to do what is necessary to determine fault, as well as liability, which can be two separate things.