If you have been injured in a car accident, determining if either driver was negligent can have a big impact on your ability to receive compensation for your injuries. Personal injury lawsuit awards hinge on the negligence of the defendant, and on any negligence contributed by the victim in the accident. Who is responsible for the accident is determined by asking a number of investigative questions.
If the Weather Was a Factor
If it was raining, or there was snow and ice on the road, the weather can be seen as a contributing factor to the accident. If both individuals were following traffic laws, and driving at a responsible speed in consideration of the weather, then neither party is deemed negligent for the accident. When the weather causes the accident, it is difficult to determine if either party is liable for the injuries sustained.
If Either Party was Under the Influence of Alcohol Or Drugs
When a driver operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this behavior is negligent. It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while impaired by a substance, and a driver that causes an accident while intoxicated is deemed at fault for the accident.
How Fast the Driver Was Going
Following traffic laws is essential. If a driver was going over the speed limit and causes an accident, they are liable for any injuries that are sustained.
If the Car Driven Was Legal
Drivers are responsible for following all traffic laws, for driving without being under the influence of substances, and for maintaining a safe speed throughout their journey. Drivers are also responsible for maintaining a safe, road legal vehicle at all times. The vehicle should be properly inspected, and should not be driven if the car has been rejected in the inspection. A driver who is using a vehicle that has been deemed unsafe for the road is a negligent driver and can be liable for the accident.
Other evidence used to determine negligence can include looking at the phone records of both parties to determine if either person was texting at the time of the accident. With technology causing distracted driving at increasing rates, it is now a contributing factor in many personal injury cases caused from a car accident.
If you aren't sure whether you can claim compensation for your injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer (such as one from Master Weinstein Shatz Moyer, P.C.) in your area to discuss your case.