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Who is at-fault for my accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Under New York’s ‘no fault’ car accident law, if you meet the ‘no fault threshold,’, you can recover damages after a car accident by filing a personal injury claim against the parties responsible for your accident. Establishing that your car accident and resulting injuries were caused by the negligence of other parties is essential to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

Common at-fault parties

Many people think that only the drivers involved in the accident can be liable for the accident. However, there are many parties that may be held liable in a personal injury claim, including:

  • Drivers
  • Vehicle owners
  • Employers/agents of the driver
  • Manufacturer of defective part in the vehicle

Naming one or more drivers involved in the accident generally means that they behaved negligently behind the wheel. This negligence typically involves breaking a traffic law (e.g. speeding, drunk driving, running a stop sign).

Vehicle owners are generally held liable for negligently entrusting their vehicle to an untrustworthy driver (e.g. unlicensed drivers, drivers under the influence of alcohol, and drivers with a history of driving recklessly), as well as negligent failure to properly maintain the vehicle.

Drivers, while within the scope of their employment with a company, sometimes operate a company-owned vehicle. In such cases, the employer may be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Employers may also be liable for negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent supervision of the driver, as well as negligent maintenance of the vehicle.

Finally, if a defective vehicle part caused the accident, the manufacturer of that part could be held liable for the accident.

Every car accident lawsuit is different, so it can be beneficial to consult with a personal injury attorney in your area before moving forward with your claim.