Taking a Closer Look at Liability in Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are many different factors that affect liability for a motor vehicle collision. The compensation that the party at fault owes to you should be directly proportional to the seriousness of the harm that you have suffered. That party’s own conduct and the egregiousness of his or her wrongdoing may also bear on liability.
Accidents With Commercial Vehicles
Drivers who cause an accident while they’re on the job will not be relieved of personal liability. While their employer may be liable, the individual driver may still be jointly and severally liable. An employer’s liability can hinge on more than the mere fact that the driver at fault was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time that the incident occurred.
Failure to check motor vehicle records about prior traffic violations and accidents may amount to a particularly egregious form of negligence. Liability theories predicated on negligent hiring could raise the value of a monetary award for damages.
Failing to verify whether individuals are capable of consistently driving safely carries a highly foreseeable risk of harm to other drivers’ on the road. Furthermore, the steps that employers could take to ensure that individuals have the requisite competencies to drive on the company’s behalf are extremely simple, straightforward, and affordable. In other words, an extremely reasonable precautionary measure could have easily prevented a company from hiring an unsafe driver, and the company’s omission caused foreseeable, serious harm.
The technology in newer vehicles that aims to make driving easier and safer is gaining popularity, but much of this innovative technology is still relatively new. Performance problems and malfunctions that play a direct role in a collision could impart liability to a vehicle’s manufacturer or the company that manufactures a specific item of equipment installed on a vehicle. Mechanics and technicians who service the components that regulate vehicle’s self-driving or other driver-assist features could also bear responsibility for malfunctions.
Issues with a vehicle’s technology will not exculpate the driver. The operator of a vehicle is typically going to be liable for whatever goes wrong with it, even though that person is reasonably relying on that equipment to function correctly. You can pursue damages from both the driver and another party who manufactured or serviced faulty equipment. Of course, the driver may have an independent cause of action against that other party.
Collisions in Inclement Conditions
Slick roadways and poor visibility create a significantly greater risk of getting into a collision. However, hazardous conditions does not necessarily mean that negligence was not a factor. In foul weather, drivers must exercise reasonable caution to drive safely. They owe one another a duty of care to moderate their speed and allow additional time for braking. Failing to take these sensible precautions means that poor weather isn’t wholly to blame for a crash. Advancing a claim against the responsible party may be the appropriate course of action.
Ultimately, there may be more than one liability theory that’s relevant to your situation. There might also be more than one party at fault for your injuries.