When your car accident was caused by the negligence of the other driver involved, then you can file a claim against them. But if the crash was caused by a defective part or a hazard on the road, then someone else could be liable for the accident. These sorts of complex situations are why it’s important that you talk to an attorney at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman located in Seaford, Newark, and Wilmington. We can make sure that even if a third party is responsible for your accident, you will be compensated appropriately for your pain and suffering.
As drivers, we do our best to stay out of crashes. We follow the rules of the road, driving the speed limit and obeying signage, but even if we have total control over our vehicle, some accidents are unavoidable. While some crashes happen due to another driver’s negligence, other accidents happen because of something that neither drivers involved in the accident could control. The truck in front of the car you crashed into could have suffered a malfunction of its brakes or other equipment, and because of that, ultimately caused the accident in which you and the other car were involved.
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When is a driver at fault for losing control of their car?
If you were involved in a car accident where the driver lost control of their vehicle where any reasonable and cautious driver could have been able to keep control of the vehicle, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit against that driver or their insurance company. When the cause of an accident is in question, and an investigation shows that the other driver is at fault, then that driver can be held responsible for your injuries and destruction of property. Our Delaware car accident lawyers identify many acts of negligence that could lead to the loss of control of a motor vehicle:
- Texting and driving
- Eating or drinking
- Driving without both hands on the wheel
- Driving drunk
- Weaving between lanes
- Fatigued driving
In these instances, the driver is showing disregard for the laws of the road, and for the other drivers around them. These actions are negligent and dangerous, and if they lead to the loss of control of the vehicle, then that person is still at fault for the accident. As Delaware is an at-fault state, then the driver who caused the accident is the one responsible for paying for your medical bills, lost income, and property damage.
When isn’t a driver at fault for a Delaware car accident?
Not all accidents can be avoided. Sometimes, the accident is already in motion before the cars ever hit the road. Consider malfunctioning vehicle parts that the driver is not responsible for. If the car manufacturer sold a vehicle with a defective part, and later that car was in an accident due to that malfunctioning part, then the company is the one to be held at fault for the accident, not the driver.
Another example is if the driver lost control of their car due to being sideswiped by another vehicle. The driver who sideswiped them can be held liable for the injuries caused to those involved in the accident. However, not all accidents can be blamed on a human, and in those situations, no one can be held at fault. These ‘acts of God’ include accidents caused by hazardous weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or ice.
What do I do if I’m in an accident caused by vehicle defects?
While defective auto parts cause a smaller percentage of crashes in Delaware, there are still a fair number of accidents caused by mistakes made by the manufacturer of the vehicle. If the accident you were in was caused due to the other driver’s vehicle malfunctioning because of a defect in its manufacturing (such as a faulty steering column or faulty brakes), then the company that manufactured or distributed the car can be held liable through a products liability case.
If you have been in an accident where the other driver lost control of their vehicle due to a third party or hazard on the road, then you may be able to receive compensation from the car manufacturer or other at fault party. While these cases may be a little more complex than the average personal injury lawsuit, the attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman will make you our top priority. We offer experienced and knowledgeable advice, ensuring that the process is as stress-free as possible. To schedule a consultation, call 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form. Our legal services extend throughout Delaware from our offices in Newark, Wilmington, and Seaford.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Friedman joined Silverman, McDonald & Friedman in 2001. He graduated from Widener University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and in several Federal Circuit courts. He areas of concentration include auto accident and workers’ compensation cases. Read more about Attorney Friedman here.