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Understanding Liability For An Accident

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The word liability is bound to come up at some point when considering an auto accident, but the word is somewhat of a mystery to some. It might be helpful if you think about liability in connection to the word fault. While fault and liability are not exactly the same thing, they are very closely related. These words will take on a new meaning for those hurt by a careless driver, so read on to learn how liability is directly connected to how much money you can get for the wreck.

What are the parties liable for?

Liability is not a word you want to be associated with your accident claim. It means culpable, and being culpable means being held responsible for the wreck. This may seem to be a simple concept on the surface, but it gets a bit more complicated than that.


For accident purposes, liability may be a question of percentage points. Some accidents are fairly simple, and it's very clear who the careless party really was. Rear-end collisions are almost always, for example, the fault of the driver in back. After all, how can you control the actions of a driver that runs into the rear of your car? Some accidents, however, are more complicated than just a simple rear-end collision, and even those can be complicated in their own way. For example, what if the collision happened at night and your tail lights were not working? The other driver could not have seen you and therefore hit you. You might not only share the liability for that wreck but perhaps the majority of fault for it.

Sharing Liability

Since many accidents have the potential to hold more than one party at fault, the amount of money you are entitled to receive is affected by liability. If you are 50% liable for the accident, you will only receive half of what you might have received if you had not taken part in causing the accident.

Proving Fault

It's no mystery that when the parties disagree on who should be liable, the case may not be easy to resolve outside of court. In fact, the more complicated the case is the more likely it is to be drawn out while each party attempts to show the other was more at fault than they were. These cases involve a greater degree of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts who view the available evidence and provide an opinion as to which driver holds the larger amount of liability for causing the accident.

Contact a legal professional, such as Gary L Baker Attorney at Law, if you were in an accident. Speak to a personal injury attorney right way, no matter how simple your accident may at first appear.