Everyday there is an occurrence of many car accidents on roads all over the world. The law dictates that everyone who has been involved in an accident stops immediately regardless of the outcome. After the accident there are laws used to determine who is responsible for the loss and damage incurred from the accident. This law therefore determines whose fault it was based on where the accident occurred.
At the accident scene it is important for all persons to remain calm, secondly cater for all injuries obtained during the accident and call an ambulance right away in the event of serious injuries. Thereafter call the police to enable then assess the situation and investigate the cause of the accident. The police officer takes photographs, interviews witness and critically analyzes the accident scene to help put together the report. Sometimes understanding the legal regulations after a car accident can be confusing while trying to figure out who was on the wrong, what your rights are, and what damage and to what extent can be covered. Therefore, professional help is needed and that requires one to hire a car accident lawyer specialized in this sector.
Victims or relatives of the victims thereafter file claims with the insurance companies who use the information collected by the police to make a determination. This is fully dependent on a state’s auto insurance laws. There are legal words used in car accident laws and some of these are:
- Comprehensive insurance. This is an auto insurance that provides protection to you, your car and the third parties involved.
- Collision coverage. This pays all repairs or even replaces your vehicle if it’s damaged or destroyed in another car accident.
- An insured or underinsured motorist. This protects if you are in an accident with an at-fault driver who carries no liability insurance.
- Comparative negligence. This is where you share out fault when there is more than one person involved in the accident.
- This is a method used to determine who is at fault when the accident occurred.
- This is money usually awarded to victims. To compensate damages to vehicles, personal injuries, pain and suffering experienced from the accident. Hospital and medical bills, lost wages amongst many others.
- This is a legal theory that shifts blame from an accident to another person who was not actively involved.
- This is a person who files the lawsuit against the driver.
- This is a person who responds to the plaintiff.
In these cases, the defendants’ insurance companies covers the cost of defending the lawsuit alongside any other damages ordered by the court to be paid to the plaintiff. Often lawsuits want to believe that the driver was negligent therefore breaching the duty to be a safe driver which caused the plaintiff injuries.
There are times when the auto insurance companies reimburse some of its cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle depending on who was on the wrong. This means if the policy holder for instance is on the wrong then there shall be no compensation at all. The same occurs for when the policy holder is free of any malice or negligence. Then he/she is fully compensated in accordance with the agreement made with the insurance company upon signing of the policy.
The court uses a number of factors to tell who was on the wrong during the accident and this include but not limited to:
– Disregarding traffic stands and signals.
– Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This is because drugs and alcohol alter the decision-making process hence putting other people’s lives at risk.
– Not signaling while turning.
– Driving past or below the designated speed.
– Disregarding the weather and traffic conditions.
– Reckless driving.
– Driving of an unroadworthy vehicle.
– Improper lane changing and without indication. Amongst others.
It is therefore important for the driver and vehicle owner to ensure proper maintenance of the vehicle and have routine vehicle inspection by the mandated body. However, there are accidents not caused by the drivers’ fault but by vehicle defects or malfunction. In cases like this the automobile manufacturer or supplier may bear the responsibility for the injuries caused by the defects or malfunction of the automobile under the law of product liability.
Product liability suit is a lawsuit filed against the dealer who sold a defective product that caused physical injury for the user and this is regardless of whether the manufacturer was negligent or not. In the cases where the vehicle is not defective and it has been insured by the owner, then the insurance law applies where the insurance company is mandated to pay for all the damage sustained.
There are times that other factors like poorly maintained roads, malfunctioning traffic lights, highway defects, improper signage, instruction, utility poles, amongst others cause serious accidents. In such cases, government entities may become potential defenders, therefore special rules often apply to claims or lawsuits that against government bodies. The plaintiff will need very professional legal advice to win such cases against the government entities.
While proving negligence a plaintiff will only be compensated if she or he is able to show the other party’s fault and prove it beyond any reasonable doubt.
If vehicles involved are not insured there is no compensation made regardless of who was on the wrong. It is therefore important for all vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles are insured immediately after purchase and renewed on time to avoid incurring of heavy loss in case of an accident that involves the uninsured vehicle. A large number of accident attorneys usually work exclusively in insurance defense. Therefore, car accident victims who wish to sue the other parties have to hire their own lawyers. In fairly rare circumstances one can represent themselves in court which is not advisable. For utmost results it is advisable to have a professional attorney represent you as you claim compensation.