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Who is liable in a car accident?

Many New Yorkers may be curious as to how liability is proven in car accidents. After all, this is an issue that affects a large number of people -- automobile accidents make up the majority of personal injury claims in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites a statistic that every 10 seconds someone in the United States becomes involved in a car accident. This means that a lot of legal claims are filed arising from motor vehicle accidents.

In general, such legal claims are governed by the law of negligence. The operators of motor vehicles are expected to exercise a reasonable amount of care given the circumstances. Failing to do so may not only have devastating consequences, it could result in the driver being found guilty of negligence, and thus liable for the damages in the accident.

Therefore, the party who is liable in a care accident is the party who is found to be negligent. Oftentimes, a person may have a vague idea as to who acted carelessly and who was at fault. However, that person may not know specifically what rule or rules the at fault party violated.

Attorneys will often make use of a variety of evidence to find these rules, such as witnesses and police reports. Some of the factors involved could be failure to signal while turning, disobeying traffic signs or signals, disregarding weather or traffic conditions or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If another party is suspected to be liable in a car accident, it is often prudent to meet with an attorney and have the situation assessed. After evaluating a case, an attorney can help victims pursue compensation and ensure that their rights are protected.

Source: Findlaw, "Car accident basics," Accessed on Aug. 12, 2014

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