How to Determine Liability in a Manchester Car Accident Case

Date:July 7, 2016

Whether you win your Manchester car accident case depends on who is at fault or whether there was a condition or defect in the automobile that caused your injuries.  The majority of car accidents are caused by one or more of the following.

  • The negligence of a driver of a vehicle
  • Unsafe or poor road conditions
  • A problem or defect in the automobile

This is a summary of the ways in which another party besides you incurs liability in a Manchester car accident case.  Examples are provided.

Driver Negligence

The most common cause of car crashes is driver negligence.  These are some examples of situations where a driver may or may not be found liable for injuries sustained by the plaintiff (you) in a car crash.

  • Driver is impaired. This refers to situations when a driver is not capable or competent to operate a motor vehicle and does so anyway.  Some examples are driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a prescription drug or falling asleep at the wheel.  If a driver was under the influence or otherwise could not function while driving, and that condition led to the car accident which caused the plaintiff’s injuries, there is a very strong likelihood that the impaired driver will be liable for your injuries.  In the case of driving while under the influence, civil liability would be in addition to any criminal fines and penalties.
  • Driver fails to abide by the rules of the road. This refers to situations where a driver fails to observe traffic signals, speed laws, road conditions, pedestrian traffic, and other Rules of the Road.  Examples would be running a red light, failing to turn on headlights at night, driving too fast in a residential area, and swerving in and out of traffic.  In these instances, liability is likely going to be clear. If the driver’s failure to abide by the rules of the road caused the accident that led to your injuries, then the driver will be liable.
  • Driver does not pay attention while driving. This refers to situations where a driver is inattentive to the road while driving.  There are a variety of distractions for a driver on any given day.  Examples include calling or texting, checking on children in the back seat, looking through a glove compartment, putting on make-up, changing the radio station, and reading while driving.  If the driver of a vehicle fails to keep their eyes on the road and that failure causes an auto accident which leads to the plaintiff’s injuries, then the driver will probably be liable.

Poor or Unsafe Road Conditions

Road conditions often play a part in a Manchester car accident case.  In these situations, the fault is not always with the driver of a vehicle.  Whether you have a claim depends on the circumstances of your case.  For example, if a construction site around a curve is unsigned and poorly lit, you probably have a case. These are some examples of road conditions which could lead to auto accidents.

  • Poorly marked signs
  • Construction sites
  • Potholes or other items on the road
  • Uneven paving in the lanes
  • Bad instructions from a flag man

If you are injured as a result of unsafe road conditions, you might not only have a claim against another driver, but also against a governmental agency or entity if they failed to keep the road safe for drivers.

Vehicle in Poor Condition or Defective

Defective or badly conditioned vehicles can be dangerous.  If you are injured as a result of a defective or poorly maintained vehicle, you may have several defendants to choose from.

  • The owner of the vehicle. If a vehicle owner improperly maintained their vehicle and that led to an accident, then the owner of the vehicle will be liable for your injuries.  For example, if an owner of a vehicle knew they had improperly functioning brakes, neglected to repair those brakes, and did not stop in time which caused an accident, the driver will be liable for any injuries that you incur.
  • A mechanic or auto body repair shop. If you have your car repaired and maintained regularly, and get into a crash as a result of a mechanic’s failure to properly repair or maintain a vehicle, that mechanic or repair person could be liable for damages incurred by you and the driver of the other vehicle.
  • Defective product. This refers to situations where the vehicle was defective when it was delivered from the factory.  Some examples are improperly deploying air bags, faulty brakes or steering systems, or improperly affixed tires.  If any such defects existed in either your car or the other driver’s car and contributed to a Manchester car accident case, you could have a claim against the company that produced either the vehicle or the part of the vehicle that did not function properly.  If these conditions existed in the other driver’s car, then you could have a claim against the other driver as well.

If you are injured as a result of your car not functioning properly, it is important that you have your vehicle inspected immediately afterwards to determine what caused the accident.  If you are injured as a result of the other driver’s vehicle not functioning properly, it is essential that you take steps to ensure that their vehicle is promptly inspected to determine what condition caused the accident.

Contact a Manchester Car Accident Case Injury Attorney

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact a Manchester car accident case attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 624-7200.

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