How Does a Billings Personal Injury Attorney Establish Liability for Car Accident Injuries?
Ragain & Clark November 30, 2020
When seeking to recover financial compensation for injuries from a car accident, you need to be able to prove that someone else was to blame. In legal terms, this is known as establishing “liability.” In order to establish liability for a car accident, there are three key questions that need to be answered.
3 Key Questions for Establishing Liability After a Car Accident
1. What Factor (or Factors) Caused the Accident?
First, you need to know what caused the accident. Numerous factors can cause car accidents, and identifying the factor (or factors) involved in your collision will require a thorough investigation. It is important to conduct this investigation as soon as possible, as certain types of evidence can disappear if not promptly preserved. In most cases, car accidents result from one or more of the following:
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
- Faulty maintenance or repairs
- Reckless driving
- Other forms of driver negligence
- Vehicle or road defects
2. Who Could Be at Fault?
Once you know what caused the accident, then you can determine who was at fault. Most car accident cases will involve claims against:
- Negligent Drivers – Negligent drivers can be held personally liable for driving mistakes that lead to traumatic accidents. However, in most cases, accident victims will seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Maintenance and Repair Shops – Maintenance and repair shops can be held liable for the consequences of faulty repairs. If your (or another driver’s) brakes failed because of a shoddy brake job, the shop that performed the work may be liable for your losses.
- Vehicle and Part Manufacturers – Vehicle and part manufacturers can face liability for car accidents resulting from automotive defects. Defective accelerators, airbags, brakes, engines, lights, and transmissions can all cause and contribute to dangerous motorway collisions.
- Road and Highway Authorities – If an issue with the road caused your accident, the state or local authority responsible for designing or maintaining the road may be to blame. Alternatively, you may have a claim against a private contractor hired to build or maintain the road.
- Employers – If you were hit by a truck driver or anyone else who was driving for work, you may have a claim against the at-fault driver’s employer. As a general rule, employers can be held liable for their employees’ mistakes within the scope of employment.
3. What are the Current and Future Costs of Your Injuries?
Finally, once you have established who is liable, you need to establish how much they are liable for. This requires a careful assessment of your current and future financial and non-financial losses. In cases involving serious traumatic injuries, accident victims will typically be entitled to compensation for:
- Outstanding medical bills and future medical expenses
- Loss of income and lost future earning capacity
- Repair bills, prescription costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society, companionship, consortium, support, and enjoyment of life
Injured in a Montana Car Accident? Contact a Billings Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like to speak with a Billings personal injury attorney, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent car accident victims throughout Montana. To request an appointment at a time and location that work for you, please call 406-651-8888 or submit your case online today.