Who Is at Fault in an Automobile Accident?
Determining fault after a Bucks County automobile accident is often a difficult challenge as a phenomenal array of factors can play into the events leading up to and occurring during the crash. Even the actions or inactions of others after the accident can enter into determining who is responsible for your damages and to what degree.
This is one reason why you should seek a highly skilled and experienced attorney to represent you when you are dealing with the costs and trauma of an automobile accident injury in Bucks County. Fault is perhaps the most critical element in any car accident lawsuit. The experienced Bucks County automobile accident attorney at the Law Offices of Paul R. Weber has the skills to analyze the evidence and determine negligence. When liability is not obvious or if there is shared fault, liability is shared by all persons or parties at fault by Pennsylvania law.
Assigning fault after an automobile accident in Bucks County
Responsibility for the accident and your injuries may reside with one person or with many entities. Some examples of those parties held liable in an automobile accident lawsuit in Bucks County may include—
Although the laws vary from state to state, you may be assigned a portion of the liability even in a lawsuit in which you receive a settlement. The degree to which you are considered somewhat responsible may shave off a percentage of your award.
This is the most obvious place to assign liability who it was that did not control their vehicle in a way that would have otherwise prevented the accident from happening.
The driver who hit you may not have been the owner. For example, if you are hit by a delivery truck or big rig, the vehicle is often owned by the company that hired the driver. They can be held liable for bad hiring practices, insufficient driver training, or poor vehicle maintenance, for example.
Sometimes, an accident may be partially caused by poor car design or defects that contributed to the responsible driver losing control of the vehicle.
Repair and maintenance facilities
If a vehicle wrecks because, for example, a service center improperly mounted a tire, the facility or its employee may face negligence in the lawsuit.
Service and filling stations
Consider one real world example in which a full-service gas station did not latch the hood after checking the oil. Then, once the car's driver later reached highway speeds, the hood flew up, blocking his vision, resulting in an accident. The filling station was assigned partial liability in the accident.
Consider a recent spate of broken windshields in Southern California caused by a pedestrian shooting out windshields with a pellet gun. An accident resulting from such an incident would make the pedestrian responsible for it.
Consider a situation in which an overhead sign falls into traffic, hitting a vehicle or causing drivers to swerve and wreck. Or a poorly marked intersection could put a county in a position of liability for a crash that may not have occurred if reasonable signage had been in place.
Bucks County automobile accident attorneys
As you can see from this partial list of often liable parties, everyone from victims, insurance companies, judges, and juries have many factors to consider when assessing fault in a Bucks County automobile accident lawsuit. Call the Law Offices of Paul R. Weber at 215-752-7676, or contact us online to discuss how we can help.