Who caused an accident and who is legally at fault for an accident can be different
You are driving along a two lane road. A driver traveling in the opposite direction makes an illegal U-turn right in front of you. You slam on your brakes. The car behind you rear-ends you. Who is at fault? It would seem reasonable that the car making the illegal U-turn be held responsible for the accident. However, you may also be held responsible for slamming on your brakes, even if it was to avoid a reckless driver. The driver who rear-ended you may also be held responsible for traveling too close behind you. Violating the law, such as speeding, running a red light, or making an illegal U-turn, can have significant weight in determining liability, but it is not the only factor. For example, being rear-ended by a car oftentimes means that the car doing the rear-ending is at fault. They are usually held responsible for following too closely.
Who is responsible for a car accident and who is legally at fault can vary. Additionally, a percentage of fault may be apportioned to multiple drivers involved. This is referred to as comparative negligence. The percentage of fault you are assigned will determine what percentage of the total damage you or your insurance company will be responsible for paying. The insurance company will say who is at fault and, if applicable, what percentage of fault each person has been assigned.
How to protect yourself from being held liable for damages
You may feel very confident that you had no part in causing a car accident. It is still important to take proper precautions in protecting yourself just in case someone tries to put some or all of the blame on you. In order to limit your potential exposure to liability, you should take the following precautions:
- Record comments made by other drivers after the accident.
- Avoid making comments to anyone after the accident.
- Be careful of what you say to the police as this may come up later and even appear in the accident report.
- Avoid posting anything on social media about the accident or any injuries you may or may not have sustained.
- Gather witness statements and contact information.
- Take pictures at the accident scene.
- Get a copy of the police report as soon as possible. If you feel anything on the report is inaccurate, you may be able to have the report amended.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can advise you on your legal options and also discuss other safety measures you should take in order to protect any potential claim for damages you may have.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC: Dedicated to Pursuing Justice and Compensation for Car Accident Victims
Car accident injury claims often involve complex legal issues. Don’t go through the process alone. The insurance company will have staunch legal representation, and so should you. The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC are committed to winning and provide unwavering representation of your best interests. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC today for a free consultation, either online, or call 215-569-8488.