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Nathaniel Fick
Nathaniel Fick
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Fault: Rarely Automatic in a Personal Injury Case

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Many people are injured due to no fault of their own in automobile accidents. However, it is important to remember that just because someone violated a traffic law and caused an accident does not necessarily mean that they will be found liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Establishing Negligence

The main aspect of establishing liability in an auto accident case is proving negligence, and there are certain situations and types of accidents where liability is relatively clear-cut. These include:

  • Rear end collisions. The basic rules of the road require that vehicles keep a safe following distance from one another, so the vehicle that rear ends another will almost always be found liable. The law imposes duties of care on both drivers of lead vehicles and drivers of following vehicles. The operator of the leading vehicle must exercise the same degree of care to avoid injury to the vehicle behind him or her.
  • Left turns. Generally, a car making a left turn is usually held responsible when there is a collision with another vehicle coming straight from the other direction, although there can be exceptions, such as if the vehicle traveling straight was speeding or running a red light.
  • Accidents involving impaired drivers. Although a drunk driver’s fault is not automatic, the fact that they were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and arrested for DUI will make it hard for them to escape at least some degree of liability.
  • When a car hits a pedestrian. Drivers are required to be extra cautious when pedestrians are present, but pedestrians are not held blameless in all situations, such as when they don’t use a designated crosswalk or walk along a busy freeway at night wearing dark clothing.

Although fault in an accident may seem obvious to you, just saying that usually isn’t enough for insurance companies. For this reason, most injured people need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney not only to make their argument stronger, but also to increase their chances for fair compensation. Insurance companies are not in the business of giving away money. Their interests are not your interests. Do not be fooled into thinking you are in good hands or anyone is on your side. Your best interests are served by consulting with an attorney at the earliest possible time.