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Car Accident Injuries – Who Is Liable?

Car Accident Injuries: California is a state that sees many car accidents. The leading cause of car collisions in the state is speeding, resulting in about 32% of accidents. This causes either injuries or death, and injured victims have to seek a Long Beach personal injury lawyer or an attorney from their area to claim compensation.

Depending on the case, car accidents can result in superficial or severe injuries. Either way, one of the parties will be held liable for possibly causing the accident. 

But who is liable in car accident injury cases? Let’s find out.

Determining Car Accident Injury Liability

Determining who was at fault for a car accident may be difficult without knowing all the details. However, you can find out who caused the incident from the police report that an officer filled. Depending on where the accident took place, the report could contain the county sheriff’s office or local police department.

There are cases when the incident or police report will contain observations and remarks from the police officer that investigated the scene. There may also be the officer’s determination of who caused the accident. 

For instance, if you were hit by a driver who ran a red light, this information on the report will help you a lot in case you wish to file a claim. This is enough to prove that the other party involved acted negligently or carelessly. 

When it comes to car accidents, negligence refers to the reckless, illegal, or careless act done by a driver which then contributed to the accident that resulted in injuries or even caused it. In this case, the driver who is at fault could be declared financially responsible for the damages and will have to pay compensation to the suffering party. 

Sometimes, though, there is more than one driver that contributed to the accident. When this is the case, the fault percentage given to you will determine how much you will receive in compensation. 

Drivers who are at fault also leave the scene of the accident in some cases, which makes it more difficult to seek compensation and obtain it. Luckily, in some states, you can get compensation through the insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage. 

Non-Owner Destroying a Car – Primary and Secondary Insurance Coverage

Some people may lend their vehicle to a friend or family member. If the person that borrowed the car causes an accident that results in another individual getting injured, the insurance of the car owner will be the primary coverage for the recoverable damages of the victim. Then, the liability insurance of the driver will be the secondary liability coverage. 

You should reach out to a car accident attorney if you got injured in an accident caused by a non-owner driving another person’s car. With insurance coverage being so difficult in these cases, you will need the help of a legal professional.

Liability for Negligent Entrustment

Let’s say that the owner of the vehicle is negligent by letting another person drive the car. This second driver causes a car accident that injures another individual. In this case, the owner of the car can be held liable for negligently entrusting the vehicle. 

Maybe a car owner has a friend who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and he/she lets this intoxicated person drive the vehicle. Then, the intoxicated individual causes a car wreck that leads to the injury of an innocent person. In this situation, both the drunk driver and the owner of the car can be held liable by the victim for negligent entrustment. 

Damages Caused by Car Thieves

So, a car owner is held liable even when a friend driving their vehicle is the one causing an accident. In this case, you may be worried about having to pay for damages if your car gets stolen and the thief injures someone in an accident. 

However, this situation is different. In this case, the use of the vehicle was done without your consent as a car owner. Therefore, you are not at fault in the slightest and cannot be held liable. 

The insurance of the owner is held liable only when the car owner caused the accident or when the owner gave their consent to another person to use the vehicle. 

Final Thoughts

The person liable for injuries in a car accident depends on the circumstances. It can be one of the drivers, both drivers, but also the owner of a car who agreed to lend their vehicle to another person and this person caused a car wreck. Consider all the aspects surrounding the accident and read the police report to discover who could be liable. 

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