How is fault and liability determined in a car accident?


Every time motorists in Connecticut get behind the wheel of a vehicle they take the risk of being involved in a car accident. While no one expects it, another driver or multiple vehicles could collide with you, causing a serious car crash with severe effects. Whether it is a simple "fender bender" or a complex multi-vehicle collision, it is important to understand who was at fault in the crash.

How is fault and liability determined in a car accident? At an accident scene, some factors are more obvious than others. Therefore, it often takes time to fully investigate the scene, assess witness accounts and even consult with experts before it is fully understood what happened, who caused the crash and what driver or drivers are liable.

Determining fault also determines who is responsible for the injuries and damages caused by the accident. The common law recognizes four basic levels of fault. This includes negligence, recklessness, intentional misconduct and strict liability, which applies liability no matter if fault exists.

In most car accidents, motor vehicle statutes are used to help establish fault. If a motorist was cited for violating a traffic law, this could be used to prove fault. This could also be used as evidence to show negligence, recklessness or even intoxication.

If you have been harmed by a negligent driver in a car accident, it is possible to take steps to hold that driver responsible for the harm caused in the crash. A personal injury claim could help an injured victim not only hold a negligent driver accountable for the crash, but also recover compensation for the losses and damages suffered.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Fault and Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents," accessed March 26, 2017

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