Mary Sloan Killed after Two-Vehicle Crash on Soscol Avenue at Silverado Trail [Napa, CA]

Accident Liability

Proving Fault After An Accident

Imagine that you have just been involved in an accident. You contact the other parties insurance to report the accident; however, the claims representative informs you that they must prove liability before liability can be accepted. But, how can you prove accident liability if you were hit by the other driver? How is this all your fault?
Liability is a term used to establish fault after an accident has occurred in almost all car, bike, pedestrian, or motorcycle accidents. The insurance representative will determine fault based on traffic laws in your state, along with witness statements, traffic collision report, and at times the statement from the other driver involved. This is an important factor to decide by the insurance adjusters since the “at- fault” driver’s liability coverage will be used to pay for the costs of property damage and bodily injuries to the victims involved in the accident.

No Doubt Accident Liability

The ideal outcome is “No Doubt Liability” where one party is clearly 100% at fault. In these situations, liability is placed on the other party, based on how the accident transpired. Here are some common no doubt liability accidents:

Rear End Impacts
If someone hits you from behind, it is normally never your fault, regardless of why you stopped. A basic rule of the road requires that a vehicle traveling behind another, is to keep a safe distance from the car in front. This guide helps vehicles traveling in the rear to stop safely in case of an unexpected stop on the road ahead.
Left Turn Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 36 percent of the estimated 2.1 million crashes occurred in an intersection. Typically, the person making a left hand turn is usually at fault. The person traveling in the opposite direction, has the right of way in most cases. Accident liability can be argued if the person who is making the left hand turn can prove the following:

  • Other driver ran through the red light
  • Driver drove above the speed limit
  • The other driver also making a left hand turn, but something unexpected caused him or her to slow down mid-turn, leading to the accident.

Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence doesn’t automatically establish fault in all circumstances, but it typically does increase the DUI driver’s inability to fully exercise the reasonable care to other drivers on the road. If you can prove that the DUI driver violated his duty by not taking reasonable measures to avoid causing harm to others, you have a logical argument for no doubt liability.

Shared Liability

If both vehicles failed to exercise caution and reasonable care to other drivers on the road, it is referred as contributory negligence. When accident liability is shared, it is up to the insurers to apportion a percentage of fault between the parties involved.
For example, Bob was driving straight on his right of way and John made a left hand turn in front of Bob, causing the collision. Based on the “no doubt” liability rule above, John would automatically be placed at fault for making the unsafe left turn. Statements from independent witnesses and damages to vehicles involved, it was determined that Bob was driving above the speed limit recklessly, which was a contributory factor in the accident. Bob was now placed at fault by 40% by the insurance company due to contributory negligence. Bob was injured in the accident, but John’s insurance company will only take 60% responsibility in compensating Bob for his losses.

Sweet Law Group Has 40 years of Experience

An injury can leave you with unexpected monetary, physical, and emotional damages. With over 44 years of experience in the legal field, we know what it takes to achieve the justice you deserve. Trust an attorney that has seen thousands of cases, knows how to handle your legal situation, and is there to fight for you every single minute of the day. Call to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation at (800) 203-3061.