Finding the Party Responsible For Your Car Accident
When a two parties go to court for a traffic accident, it is fundamentally all about assigning fault for the car crash. The judge hears evidence to determine who was responsible for causing the crash and whether it was caused by some sort of wrongful or careless behavior. However with hundreds of thousands of crashes in Florida every year, it is not always the case that the person responsible for the accident was one of the drivers. Driver negligence certainly plays a major role in the majority of car crashes, but there can also be other parties involved. It is important for a victim’s chances of recovery to make sure that all people who could be potentially responsible for the accident are scrutinized. There are two particularly common scenarios where non-driver liability often appears: products liability and dangerous road conditions.
Products liability cases arise when a car manufacturer sells cars that are flawed in some way that makes them dangerous to drive, and that flaw results in an accident. There are three major types of flaws that can arise in products liability cases. First, there may be a design defect. Design defects are flaws that are inherent in the way that the car is made. For example, imagine a manufacturer decides to make the car from a cheap material that has a tendency to shatter into sharp shrapnel on impact. Such a dangerous decision might qualify as a design defect. Second, the accident may have been caused by a manufacturing defect. Manufacturing defects enter the picture when there is some flaw in how the car is made that causes an accident. For instance, if a machine in a car factory improperly installs a wheel, causing it to fall off while driving, that would be a manufacturing defect. Finally, a flaw can arise when the manufacturer fails to adequately warn the driver of dangers with the car. An example of a failure to warn that creates a flaw could be an owner’s manual that does not adequately explain the way that cruise control works, leading to an accident.
The other common scenario where someone other than a driver could be responsible for the accident is when the accident occurs as the result of a dangerous road condition. This can happen in a variety of ways. Many accidents happen because a car was attempting to avoid a dangerous object in the road. If that object was cargo that fell off of a truck’s trailer, then it is possible that the trucking company bears some responsibility for the accident.
Municipalities or the state may also be responsible for dangerous road conditions. If a city or state fails to properly design or maintain their roads and that failure leads to an accident, then it is possible that a driver would be able to recover from the government.
There are many parties who may be responsible for an accident, and people injured in car crashes should examine all of them. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact the West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP for a consultation on your case.