When it comes to car accident claims, one of the most common words that gets thrown around is “fault,” which refers to who is to blame for the auto accident and, more importantly, who should pay for the injuries sustained in an accident. This concept is known also as liability and there are many different state laws that govern how fault is designated, depending on the circumstances of the car accident.
As a basic guideline, there are four kinds of fault that can be reasons for an accident and they are scaled according to most relevant or important first. Negligence is the first tier and means that someone was engaging in careless behavior, which lead to the auto accident. For example, if someone did not notice a stop sign and drove through it and caused an accident, this would be considered negligence and that driver would be liable. The second level is recklessness. This is similar to negligence, but is generally reserved to a disregard for safety rules for one’s own benefit. Speeding, for example, would fall under this category. This category also could include defective or hazardous products that may have lead to the accident, though these situations are less common.
Intentional misconduct is the third level and refers to a driver that means to do harm to another. Although it may seem uncommon, it does in fact happen when someone intends to run over a pedestrian or attack someone car’s in a “road rage.” Finally, strict liability refers to situations where there is a clear, legal dictation as to whether someone is at fault, regardless of the situation. These are also less common, and vary depending on state laws or local mandates.
Liability in car accidents is sometimes very easy to determine, such as a drunk driving accident, but is sometimes much more vague. When in doubt, you should always consult with an attorney that is well-versed in auto accident claims and can guide you through the filing process. To learn more about liability in car accidents and how the Franco Law Firm can serve you, please call us at (813) 872-0929.