How to Determine Liability In A Car Accident

How to determine liability in a car accident on the side of the road.

After a Texas car accident, you are likely to hear the word “liability.” This term refers to which party or parties bear legal and financial responsibility for causing an accident. Holding someone “liable” means they caused the accident and your injuries and are responsible for paying for your medical bills and other losses.

In a Texas car accident case, an injured victim must prove who was liable for causing the accident before they can recover compensation for their injuries and other losses. The personal injury lawyers at McKinney Vos can evaluate your situation to help you understand who is liable for causing a car accident and hold them accountable for the harm they caused.

How Is Liability Determined in a Car Accident?

Some accidents have a clear cause, such as a person who was driving while intoxicated, someone who ran a red light, or when one car rear-ends another. When liability is clear, the at-fault driver (and their insurance company, if they have one) is responsible for paying for your losses.

Other times, it is less clear who is at fault for causing a crash. When determining liability in a car accident, insurance adjusters, personal injury lawyers, judges, and juries analyze evidence to determine who was at fault for causing the accident. To determine liability in a car accident, they review relevant evidence, such as:

  • Photographs and videos
  • The police report
  • Witness statements
  • Crash reconstruction diagrams
  • Driver cell phone records
  • Medical records
  • Expert testimony

Why Is Determining Liability in a Car Accident Important?

If you wish to recover compensation for your losses after a car accident, you must prove the other driver or drivers acted negligently, carelessly, or recklessly and are liable for causing the accident and your injuries.

Determining liability in a car accident requires that the injured victim prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

  1. The other driver owed you a duty of care.
  2. The defendant breached their duty of care (i.e., they were negligent).
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty caused the car accident.
  4. You were injured and suffered other compensable losses in the accident.

Common Acts of Negligence that Cause a Car Accident

Here are some common acts of negligence that can cause a car accident.

  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signs. Running a red light, rolling through a stop sign, or ignoring other signs or traffic control devices can cause a serious accident.
  • Speeding. Driving too fast for the road conditions limits reaction time and can cause a crash.
  • Drunk Driving. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs slows a driver’s reaction time and increases the likelihood of causing an accident.
  • Failure to Yield. A driver who does not obey right-of-way signs or otherwise fails to yield can be liable for causing an accident. Failure to yield may involve moving through an intersection without stopping or pulling into oncoming traffic and can make a driver liable for any resulting injuries.

The lawyers at McKinney Vos are skilled at determining liability in a car accident. We can analyze your situation, identify who was at fault, and hold them accountable for the harm they caused.

What If You Were Partially At Fault for Causing the Accident?

Confusion about who caused a car accident can cause some people to wrongly assume they are not eligible for compensation. Determining liability in a car accident can depend on a variety of factors. In some cases, you can still receive compensation for your injuries, even if you were partially at fault.

Multiple parties can share responsibility for causing a car accident. Texas applies a comparative negligence standard, which means an injured person can recover financial compensation if they were not more than 51% liable for causing the accident. Their total compensation will be reduced by their proportion of fault.

Suppose you were involved in a car accident and were found to be 30% at fault. Assume the value of your claim is $100,000. Your total compensation would be reduced by 30%, and your total recovery would be $70,000.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Even if you believe the other driver was at fault, determining liability in a car accident can be challenging. McKinney Vos can evaluate your case and present evidence proving the other driver was at fault and should be held liable for causing your injuries.

When a car accident causes injuries, McKinney Vos can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We will investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather the evidence necessary to prove the other driver was at fault. We will calculate the full extent of your losses and negotiate with the insurance company to reach a favorable resolution. If a resolution is not forthcoming, we have the knowledge and expertise to take your case to court to fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. To learn more, contact McKinney Vos today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

Categories: Car Accident