Determining Legal Liability in a Car Accident

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determining liability in an accident
Every year, over 30,000 people are killed in car crashes in the United States and hundreds of thousands more are injured. Needless to say, car accidents can have a devastating emotional impact on the victim and the victim’s family and friends. In addition to the emotional suffering, car accidents involving deaths and injuries have a significant financial impact. In South Carolina alone, car accidents resulting in deaths have a financial impact in excess of $1 billion in medical and work loss costs.
Legal Liability in Car Accidents
The first step in order to recover damages in a car accident is to determine who may be responsible (or legally liable) for the car accident. Under the law, in order to establish legal liability, the driver or drivers who caused the car accident must have acted negligently. In order to establish negligence, the following elements must be met:

  • The driver who caused the accident must have had a duty to other drivers on the road to act reasonably. Drivers on the road have a duty to follow traffic laws and otherwise have a duty of reasonable care to other drivers.
  • The driver who caused the accident must have breached his duty of reasonable care. Examples of this are discussed below.
  • The driver’s failure to use reasonable care must have caused the person’s injuries.
  • Finally, the person who the driver hit must have suffered some type of injury, such as emotional or physical damages, medical expenses, lost wages, or property damages.

Common Causes of Car Accidents 
There are a variety of different situations in which another driver may have failed to reasonably operate his car, which can lead to a car accident. Common examples include:

  • Distracted driving, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, eating while driving, or focusing on other thoughts besides driving the car;
  • Driving at an unreasonable rate of speed given the road conditions, weather, traffic, and visibility;
  • Failure to obey traffic control devices, including red lights, stop signs, and yield signs;
  • Failure to maintain and keep a car in good working condition, such as failure to fix car lights or replace car brakes;
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
  • Improper and bad driving techniques, including tailgating, rubbernecking, or improper lane changes.

What You Should Do If You Are in a Motor Vehicle Accident
If you are in a car accident, it is important that you take certain measures in order to protect your rights against other negligent drivers. Taking the following steps can help you protect your rights:

  • Contact the police to investigate the accident and have the police complete a report. You should review the police report to make sure it is accurate.
  • Identify any witnesses on the scene and take down their contact information.
  • Take pictures of the scene and any damage to your property or the other car.
  • If you are injured, seek medical attention and keep copies of any medical reports.
  • Contact an experienced Greenville auto accident attorney for assistance. You should speak with an attorney before you talk with your or the other driver’s insurance company.

Finally, it is important that you do not sign any documents admitting any liability in an accident or waiving any of your rights to recover damages. An experienced car accident attorney can help protect your rights
Contact a Greenville Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, an experienced Greenville car accident attorney can help. The law firm of David R. Price, Jr., P.A., can help you receive the money and benefits you deserve. From relatively minor car accidents to multi-vehicle, deadly accidents, David R. Price, Jr., has the experience necessary to make sure that you receive fair compensation.
Contact David R. Price, Jr., for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You can call us at 864-271-2636.


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