Establishing fault is essential after a car crash. Fault ultimately determines financial responsibility for the property damage or injuries that occur because of a crash.
There are numerous different people who could be responsible for causing a collision. Understanding who might be at fault for a wreck can help you take the right steps after a crash.
Drivers often have fault for major collisions
Mistakes by drivers are the top cause of crashes. Failing to monitor surroundings, driving while drunk or speeding can all lead to major collisions. Usually, it is clear that one person didn’t check their surroundings before making a turn or merged too close in front of a big truck.
Police officers responding to a crash will typically talk to all of the drivers involved and other witnesses present at the time of the wreck to establish fault. Sometimes, they may even need to review traffic camera records and cell phone data to determine if distraction or bad practices influenced the collision. Police officers will typically assign fault to one of the drivers involved and issue a citation to them for causing the crash.
However, there are scenarios where neither driver involved in a crash is the one who ultimately has fault for the collision. A third party is the one who is ultimately at fault for the wreck. What kinds of situations leave to a third party causing a car crash?
Someone in another vehicle driving erratically
In some cases, the maneuver of a driver that causes them to crash into you was not irresponsible but rather an appropriate reaction to someone else driving poorly nearby. Someone swerving or turning unexpectedly may have done so to avoid another driver. Sometimes, the third party will have some responsibility for a crash they caused but didn’t get into themselves.
Defective parts or shoddy service
If a driver just replaced their brakes, only to have them fail on the road, there is very likely someone other than the driver who couldn’t stop their vehicle to blame.
If the parts installed were defective, the manufacturer may be to blame for the crash and any losses that result. If the parts were appropriate but the mechanic didn’t install them properly, then they may be the one at fault. Both manufacturers and service providers like mechanics typically have professional insurance that covers these kinds of situations.