When you are involved in an auto accident and dealing with injuries, insurance
claims, and just about everything else, you will be asking
whose fault the accident was. Proving that someone was at fault, or that you were
not, can often be a difficult thing to do. If you have been involved in
an accident, whether you were at fault or not, it is a good idea to contact
an attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
are experienced in all types of personal injury lawsuits. Contact them
if you have suffered an injury in an automobile accident.
Several different factors, some of them not so obvious, come into play
when determining who is at fault for
damages and injuries in an accident. For example, take the case of a motorist who is seriously
injured when another driver cuts in front of him or her after turning
onto a street. That driver may be found liable if he was speeding or made
an illegal lane change prior to the collision. The decision of who is
responsible for an accident, and ultimately who must pay for it, rests
primarily on the motor vehicle statutes rather than the traditional definitions
of fault. The reason behind this is that the automotive insurance industry
has lobbied to have car accident liability be based on motor vehicle statutes.
This makes it easier for insurers to challenge fault and liability when
another party in the accident has violated a traffic law, especially since
liability insurance is required in all states.
Fault for an accident is either created by law or defined by the common
law. Common law recognizes four types of fault:
Negligence: Negligence is the type of fault most commonly dealt with in
an auto accident. It means careless or inadvertent conduct that results
in harm or damage. One can be negligent in multiple ways. Negligence can
occur by failing to do something, such as failing to yield a right-of-way.
It can also occur by actively doing something, such as running a red light.
Recklessness: Reckless or wanton behavior refers to a willful disregard
of safety and welfare of others. This type of behavior is sometimes seen
with very excessive speeding or other reckless driving.
Strict Liability: This can be imposed even where there is no fault for
accidents involving defective products or hazardous activities, such as
transporting toxic or extremely dangerous chemicals
Fault is rarely questioned when a motorist engages in reckless behavior
such as drunk driving. However, when it is a case of general negligence,
which is often the case in minor fender benders and other routine accidents,
establishing fault can become more complex, as more than one motorist
may be liable. In these cases, state law dictates who must pay for damage
to property and injuries sustained by the involved parties. In Georgia,
a system of comparative fault is used to determine fault for an accident.
For example, if you were involved in an accident, and were found to be
20% at fault for the accident, the amount of your recovery for injuries
and damages would be reduced by this amount (20%), since this is how much
at fault for the accident you were.
Contact an Attorney
Filing a lawsuit is often a difficult process that is only further complicated
by attempting to deal with injuries and unexpected complications stemming
from your injury. If you have been injured by another person, contact
the personal injury attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. They are
experienced in all types of personal injury cases and can help get you
the compensation you deserve.