car accident in a company vehicle

Determining Liability When a Third Party Causes a Car Accident

Some car accident investigations are cut-and-dry. One driver ran a red light, or perhaps one party was texting and didn’t notice that the vehicle in front of them stopped. While you may have to go back and forth with the insurance company a few times or bring in an attorney, everyone knows what the end result will be.

It’s not quite as easy when a non-driver is responsible for the accident. How do you seek compensation? How do you prove that the other party is responsible for what happened? Hiring a personal injury attorney in Auburn is the first step. Call Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short at 334-821-3892 to set up a consultation right away.

Who May Be Liable?

First, you have to figure out who the liable party might be. Depending on the facts of your case, you may already have a good idea or you may only know that neither driver is liable. Potentially liable parties include:

  • Employer: Was the other driver working at the time of the collision? There’s a good chance that their employer is liable for any damage they may have caused. If the driver was engaged in standard work duties when they hit you, the claim will likely go through the employer’s insurance and not the driver’s. However, there may be some pushback here. The employer might claim that the driver was acting outside the scope of their duties or otherwise not engaged in work, which would require you to prove that the employer is liable.
  • Car manufacturer: Vehicles go through stringent testing and screening before being sold to the public, but that doesn’t mean that mistakes don’t slip under the radar. Manufacturers may occasionally speed through testing to get a car to market or fail to recognize an obvious problem. If the affected vehicles are in a crash because of a defect, the manufacturer may have to pay up.
  • The government: Government entities have an obligation to keep roads safe and drivable, maintain clear and appropriate signage, and repair any visibility issues. When they don’t, there are ways to hold them accountable.
  • Repair shop: Some crashes happen after a driver brings their car to a repair shop, only for the repair shop to fail to fix the issue. Laypeople can’t possibly know that these errors have happened until something goes wrong. If a repair shop did not fix an error, used an incorrect part, or caused another problem during another repair, they could be liable.
  • Vehicle owner: Perhaps the driver of the other vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle. If the owner of the vehicle should have known that the driver could not be trusted with the car, they may have to pay for any damage caused by the driver.

Holding the Other Party Liable

Car accident cases involving a third party are often much more complicated than crashes that only involve two drivers. While you should talk to an Alabama car accident lawyer after any collision, it is especially important after a complex third-party accident. Your attorney will be able to sort through the facts of the accident, figure out who played a role in it, and determine who is obligated to pay compensation.

Not only do you have to figure out who’s liable, but you also have to convince them to offer a fair settlement to avoid court. Again, this is where an attorney is extremely helpful. When there are multiple potentially liable parties, no one is quick to take the blame and the financial burden that comes with it. An attorney can figure out liability and build a case that puts pressure on the liable party to do the right thing and settle. If the liable party is unwilling to budge, you can trust your attorney to take your claim to court and fight for fair compensation there.

Reach Out to Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short

If you have been hurt in a car accident, don’t wait to explore your legal options. The sooner you reach out to a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you can start pursuing full and fair compensation. To set up a meeting with our team now, call us at 334-821-3892 or contact us online.

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