Auto Accident Scenarios: Who is Responsible?
Determining fault in an auto accident is a vital aspect of claiming damages in many states. In states where fault is at issue, damages will only be paid out to the injured party if they can show wrongdoing by the other driver.
There are generally two avenues for obtaining compensation after an automobile accident, whether by the insurance company's claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit. There are moments when it is obvious who is to blame, such as in most rear-end collisions. Sometimes, though, there can be more than one person who is to blame.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, an Auto Accident Lawyer Fort Myers residents have come to trust with their personal injury claims can help you determine who was at fault and what resources and legal options are available. Here are some typical car accident situations and the analysis that goes into proving fault.
According to the Washington Post, rear-end collisions are the most frequent traffic accidents, accounting for 1.7 million crashes, 1,700 deaths, and 500,000 injuries per year. A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle collides with the back of another. The vast majority of these crashes are caused by following too closely and distracted driving.
According to conventional wisdom, the driver in the rear car is often to blame for a rear-end collision since traffic laws require drivers to leave enough space between their vehicles to maintain a safe stopping distance. Although this is usually true, there are circumstances where all drivers or even a third party can be held liable. Consider these scenarios below:
You are driving down a road when another car rear-ends you. You attempted to use your turn signal when slowing to take an upcoming turn. The other car driver claims they had no idea you were turning because there was no turn signal. Your turn signal was found to be defective during the investigation. Although you may bear some responsibility for driving without a functioning turn signal, the manufacturer could share responsibility if the turn signal is found to be faulty.
You are distracted by a text while driving through traffic. A car pulls out in front of you at the same time. You fail to respond quickly enough to avoid rear-ending the vehicle. In this case, you and the other driver could be jointly liable. Although you were at fault for driving while distracted, the other driver was at fault for failure to yield the right-of-way.
Left-turn accidents typically occur when one vehicle travels straight through an intersection as another makes a left turn, but the left-turning vehicle collides with the side of the straight-moving vehicle. Liability, like rear-end collisions, is usually straightforward. Left-turning vehicles have a lesser priority in this case, which means they must yield to those traveling straight through the intersection unless there is a green arrow. According to a federal report, the left-turning driver made the most critical errors, including "trying to turn with an obstructed view," "error of judgment of distance or speed," "insufficient surveillance," and "mistaken presumption of the other driver's intent." These are all mistakes that are attributed to left-turning drivers who cause accidents.
A head-on collision is one of the most dangerous accidents that could happen. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, head-on collisions accounted for 56 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in 2019. When two cars moving in opposite directions collide, this type of accident is a frontal impact or head-on collision.
Drivers who enter a one way street from the wrong direction, veer out of their lane of traffic into oncoming traffic, or even those that have been involved in a crash that causes their vehicle into an oncoming traffic lane are all causes of head-on collisions.
A side-impact collision, also known as a T-bone collision, occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another at an approximately 90 degree angle. There is little to shield passengers on the broad side of a vehicle when it is struck. Injuries to passengers seated on the damaged side of the vehicle are often severe. This type of collision often happens at an intersection. It is usually triggered by one of the drivers' negligence, such as failing to yield the right-of-way, running a red light, driving while intoxicated, or driving while distracted.
A sideswipe collision occurs when two vehicles traveling in the same direction collide from the side while in motion. This form of collision is hazardous on the highway, where traveling speeds are higher, and neither driver might have expected the collision. In a sideswipe accident, liability for damages is determined by who had the right-of-way in the travel lane and what each driver's conduct was before the collision.
Even if other vehicles are involved, single-vehicle accidents are those in which only one vehicle sustains damage or injury. Although it is easy to conclude that the driver in a single-vehicle accident is to blame, that is not always the case. A single automobile accident can be caused in various ways by the acts or negligence of others.
As you have seen, there are multiple ways in which a person or multiple parties can be found responsible for an accident. An experienced Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer will assist you in identifying all possibly responsible parties, giving you the best chance of recovering damages for an accident caused by someone else's negligence.