While personal injury attorneys can assist with a wide range of injuries, from those that were caused by dog bites to those that stem from defective products, one of the problems that they help people with most are injuries related to car accidents. If you've been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim, there are a few things you need to understand regarding liability. This article outlines the three primary components of liability in car accidents.
The Physical Location Of The Victim
Liability is often determined by examining whether or not the injured person was in a place that he or she had any business being. For instance, if you were struck by a vehicle while walking across a major freeway during rush-hour, the courts will likely find that you shouldn't have been crossing that freeway to begin with, and thus have no right to pursue damages. However, if you were walking across the street and you had the legal right of way, in a designated crosswalk for instance, then clearly any driver who struck you would be responsible for damages.
The Condition Of The Roadways
The condition of the street or property on which your injury occurred is also a vital component of determining liability. Poorly maintained, or outright dangerous, streets might very well cause an astute and law-abiding driver to lose control of his or her vehicle and potentially collide with pedestrians or other motorists. If such was the case concerning your own injury, then liability would fall to the property owner, rather than the driver of the vehicle.
Regarding Carelessness On The Part Of The Injured Person
If your injury is at all a function of your own careless behavior, you may not be entitled to legal damages. This varies from one situation to the next, but in general your own carelessness will only hinder your right to compensation if it directly resulted in your injury.
Peeking down at your cell phone, for instance, would have little consequence in a case if a drunk driver swerved into your lane and collided head-on with your vehicle. However, if a preoccupation with your phone was what caused you to veer into an intersection without having the legal right of way, than the courts may consider your injury to be partly your own fault.
Overall, a personal injury attorney will be able to tell you if the facts regarding your accident warrant an injury claim. More importantly, an attorney like Burgess, Harrell, Mancuso, Colton, La Porta & Shea can help clarify the details regarding your location, the conditions of the road, and any presumed carelessness in order to give you the best chance possible of procuring compensation.