Accident Attorney Tips: Determining Who Is at Fault in an Auto Incident

In case you use any means of transportation other than public transportation, inevitably you will have to deal with some situations involving accidents. In moments like that you might wonder what determines who is at fault in a car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle accident. Generally speaking, the faulty party is considered to be the driver who didn’t obey the rules and the law.

The rules for vehicle accidents

In case of the vehicle accidents there is a set of rules which tell people how they are supposed to drive. These rules also provide ways to measure liability. In order for someone to get their driver’s license, they have to pass a test based on these rules. The complete set of rules can be found in the state’s vehicle code. While some might think that these rules only apply to cars, there are also rules for motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians.

Different situations might raise different questions

In some cases it is very clear who the faulty party is. For instance if a driver runs a red light and crashes into another car, it is clear that it was their fault. However, in other cases the violation of the rules might not be that clear. It is common for accidents to happen when cars need to merge into one single line. The cases of this kind are governed by the negligence law.

Although negligence doesn’t have a very specific definition, a negligent person is considered to be someone who acts carelessly or thoughtlessly. If a pedestrian, cyclist or driver causes an accident because of their negligence, they can at least partially be found at fault.

How to prove negligence

In order for someone to prove the negligence of another person, there are three aspects they will have to think about:

  1. The person in question is required by the law to act carefully in that given situation (this is a given fact since all drivers have to be cautious at all times)
  2. The driver (biker or pedestrian) wasn’t careful
  3. The driver’s action caused damage or injury to another person

Police reports

In case you are asking what determines who is at fault in a car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, it is good to know that these are the documents that determine the fault of a person. If the police arrived to the accident, there is a good chance you could get the report from the police. In many cases the report includes who caused the accident. If it doesn’t mention who violated the regulations, at least it contains what happened from the police officer’s point of view.

In the majority of the cases it isn’t difficult to determine who the faulty party is and they will be held liable for their actions.

Auto Accidents Lawyer’s Tips on Bike Collisions With Cars

More and more auto accidents happen at intersections, and as recent statistics show, these are the result of collisions between cars and bikes. If you have been the victim of such a collision, you should know what liability is actually involved in such incidents.

 When is a cyclist at risk of colliding with a car?

If you have been riding a bike in the city, you know that only a small portion of a cyclist’s travel route includes intersections. Recent statistics show that basically a little over 10 percent of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a car; but of these, 45% take place in intersections.  Also, the majority of bicycle accidents -involve only the cyclist, who loses control of the bike and crashes.

Why is an intersection a dangerous place for a cyclist?

Vehicles often underestimate the speed of a bike and this is one of the most important reasons. Also, cars often don’t expect bikes to be on the road so car drivers aren’t watching for bikes, increasing the danger of auto accidents happening.

Visibility is another matter. Even if cars are on the lookout for bikes, they sometimes just don’t see them because bikes are smaller and can blend into the background.

What can a cyclist do to avoid collisions at intersections?

There are ways to minimize the risk of being hit by a car. First of all, a good cyclist would need to make everything in their power to maximize their visibility, understand the rules of the road, learn to recognize some of the most dangerous intersection hazards, and take safety precautions when approaching and riding through an intersection. Increasing the visibility of the bike and cyclist  is done by using front and rear lamps, reflective clothing, and brightly colored clothing. Also, cyclists are legally required to be on the lookout and to learn how to execute emergency maneuvers in order to avoid collision.

What are the legal liability provisions in car collisions?

It is not always easy to determine who the guilty party in such an incident is. However,  cyclists who don’t follow road rules or don’t keep a proper lookout might be deemed responsible for an accident.  In order to avoid liability for an accident after being hit by a car, cyclists must understand both the basic legal rules of liability and the rules of the road.

Legally speaking, in nearly every state a bicycle is considered to be a “vehicle” and therefore, just like motorists, cyclists must follow the rules of the road. The first and most logical thing in what regards liability is that it usually boils down to who had the right-of-way: the bike or the vehicle.

There are many legal considerations that come into play depending  in such traffic incident, and many depend on the type of intersection and overall traffic incidents. This is why, if you have been involved in an auto accident involving a vehicle collision, the first logical step would be to contact a specialized attorney who can help with your liability case.