Several factors determine liability for injuries and damages in an auto accident, and some of those factors are more obvious than others. For example, if a motorist is hurt when someone cuts them off, they may be liable if they were in violation of any traffic laws. Determining financial responsibility lies primarily within motor vehicle laws, rather than the traditional definition of fault. In this article, readers will learn about fault as it pertains to motor vehicle statutes and common law, as it differs from other claim types.
The Common Law Definition of Fault
In the strictest sense, the fault is created by statute or determined by common law. Four levels are recognized: negligence, recklessness, intentional behavior and strict liability.
- Negligence occurs when one’s careless conduct results in damage. It can occur when one fails to act, or when one actively does something.
- Reckless conduct is the willful disregard for others’ welfare and safety.
- Intentional behavior is done on purpose, with the knowledge of and disregard for the severity of a potential outcome.
- Strict liability can be imposed even if the fault is absent, for accidents that involve dangerous activities or defective products.
In common law, a person causing a car accident has committed a tort, which is a wrong against a private individual. There aren’t many questions of fault when motorists engage in reckless or intentional misconduct, but the establishment of fault in general negligence cases is more complex. When both motorists share blame, state laws determine who pays for personal injury and property damage.
Violations of Motor Vehicle Statutes
Every jurisdiction has laws regulating the operation of motor vehicles on public roads. A violation of a statute creates presumptive negligence. For instance, most areas have motorcycle helmet laws, and failure to wear a helmet is a negligent act that can affect accident liability. Auto Accident Attorneys in Hollywood FL must then prove that their client’s negligence did not cause the other person’s injuries.
Call an Attorney for a No-Obligation Evaluation
If one believes that someone else was to blame for a recent auto accident, they should call Auto Accident Attorneys in Hollywood FL to have the claim reviewed. A personal injury attorney with the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff P.A. can tell the client whether someone else was negligent, and whether they may be eligible for damages to cover economic losses related to the accident.