What Determines Who Is At Fault In An Auto Accident?

For the law to make someone pay when there’s been a car, truck or motorcycle accident, three things must be present.  First, there has to be a rule or accepted way of doing things that wasn’t followed.  This is called “Duty”.  The rules of driving are what everyone learns in order to get a driver’s license.  Drivers must also follow “the accepted way of doing things”.  In legal terms this is called using “reasonable care”, which essentially means that while operating a motor vehicle drivers must pay attention and keep control of their car, truck or motorcycle.  Knowing and following these rules, and sticking to the accepted way of doing things, is called a driver’s “duty”.  Secondly, it must be shown that the driver who is being asked to pay made a mistake by not following the rule or the usual way of doing things.  This is called a breach” of the “driver’s “duty”.  While figuring out if a driver broke a driving rule seems easy, there is often a dispute as to which driver actually broke the rules.  For example, who ran the red light or who had the right of way.  That’s where an attorney can help make sense of things.  Even if no rules of the road were technically broken, the fact that there was an accident means one or both of the drivers failed to follow the accepted way of doing things.  Finally, because of a driver’s mistake, someone must have gotten hurt and/or had their property damaged.  In legal terms this is called “damage”.  The damage claimed needs to have been the result of the accident and due to the mistake of the at-fault driver.

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