Imagine driving home from work one evening. You are starting to think about what you’ll have for dinner or what you want to do this weekend when in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, everything goes black and then you feel the pain and fear set in as you realize you have just been hit in a car crash.
If you have recently been in a crash, you don’t have to imagine this scene; it is unfortunately a reality. In these situations, you probably have far more questions than answers right away. And while it may take a little time to find answers, it is crucial that you get them. This is especially true when it comes to the question of who is to blame.
Identifying liability in the wake of a car crash can be a complicated – and specific – process. It will depend on the examination of numerous details of an individual scene. However, in general, the party liable for car accident damages may be one of the following three.
- Negligent drivers: These drivers fail to exercise reasonable caution while driving. They might turn without using their signal, run through a red light or swerve into another lane while entering something into a GPS.
- Reckless drivers: This includes drivers who intentionally engage in activity they know could harm others. Drivers who speed, evade police officers, tailgate, pass other vehicles unlawfully and drive drunk can be considered reckless drivers.
- Other parties: Liability may fall on the part of people who are nowhere near an accident scene. For instance, car manufacturers can be liable for defective products that contributed to a crash. In New Mexico, a person who sells alcohol to a drunk driver who causes a crash can be liable. Employers who hire unsafe commercial drivers can be liable if they cause an accident.
Whether the liable party is one of these or someone else, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the person or persons responsible for a crash. Once liability is established, victims can then assess their legal options and eligibility for compensation with the help of an attorney.