Injury In Car Accidents: Who’s Fault is it?

It's no secret that Canada's highways are crowded. On some days it seems like half the population is on the road, and they probably are. The result of all that traffic - not surprisingly - is auto accidents. People drive too fast or they drive too slow. They drive distracted and they drive carelessly. They even drive while intoxicated. In Canada, there are over 2,300 fatal traffic related accidents each year, many of which are caused by impaired drivers.

In addition to fatalities, sometimes even minor car accidents can result in serious injury such as; fractures, head, neck, and back injuries, and the most common injury, whiplash.

3 Types of Auto Accident Liability

When it comes to who is at fault for injuries or damages, auto accident liability is generally grouped in three main categories:

  • Negligence. This is the number one accident cause. It usually means that the driver was not paying attention to the road or road conditions.
  • Misconduct. Alcohol or speeding is usually the cause.
  • Product liability. The car is at fault here, such as a defective tire.

Tips for Determining Fault

  • Generally, the driver who causes the car accident is liable for all the damage that results. Often, however, fault is not clear cut or is disputed by the people involved. If that is the case, these points can be critical in determining liability:
  • Did any driver violate a traffic law, such as speeding or running a light?
    Police findings on any traffic violation are often critical, although opposing insurance companies may disagree.
  • Can you collect evidence?
    Photos of the accident and reports from witnesses can make a big impact in proving fault.
  • Is the accident the result of a rear-end collision?
    In that case, the driver who rear-ended is generally charged with liability.
  • Can one driver be considered negligent in the accident?
    This also generally establishes liability.

Even the abrupt stop that results when a car slams into the rear end of another vehicle often causes chronic back or neck pain, which is sometimes not recognized at the time of the accident. If you are involved in a car accident that causes an injury, contact a lawyer as soon as possible and don't fight the "who's at fault" problem by yourself.

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