Motor vehicle accidents can take a toll on a victim and is or her family for years to come. Despite severe injuries and extensive medical bills, Pennsylvania victims may not realize that they could be eligible for financial compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death suit. By understanding fault and liability as they pertain to motor vehicle accidents, it can be easier to determine if an individual has a viable case.
There are many different factors that are considered when determining which driver is at fault for an accident. Negligence, intentional harm, reckless driving and strict liability are the four levels of fault recognized by common law. Negligence can be used to define both blatant and inadvertent behavior, but it can be very complex to establish general negligence in motor vehicle accidents. In these situations, Pennsylvania motor vehicle laws will determine which driver is financially responsible for damages sustained.
When determining liability after a serious accident, it is important to evaluate whether a driver was in violation of any state laws regarding the operation of a motor vehicle. In some cases, it may be found that the victim contributed, even minimally, to the accident. That does not mean that he or she is disqualified from compensation, but rather that he or she must present clear evidence that, if not for the other driver, injuries or damage could have been avoided.
Determining fault and liability can be a complicated process, making it important for a victim to seek qualified legal counsel after an accident. Injured victims or the family of those killed in motor vehicle accidents may find it beneficial to allow a knowledgeable attorney to evaluate the circumstances of an accident. An evaluation will determine the strength of a potential personal injury case and subsequent steps that should be taken.
Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Fault and Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents", Dec. 31, 2014