6/15/2012 10:42:00 AM by Garrett Law Group, PLC
Thousands of people are killed and millions are injured in motor vehicle crashes. These crashes frequently are caused by the negligence of other drivers, leading to death or injury for these drivers as well as for innocent victims. Motor vehicle accidents can have many causes, but they most simply can be divided among negligence, intentional misconduct, or product liability. While it is true that accidents can be caused by a so-called "act of nature" such as earthquakes, this is rare.
Negligence is one of the primary causes of automobile accidents. Negligent acts mean that the driver causing the accident did not exercise reasonable care. Examples include driving too fast or too slowly for the conditions, allowing oneself to be distracted, and carelessly ignoring traffic signals or conditions. There are many areas in which negligence can occur, but the common thread is that negligence is a failure to be careful rather than an act intended to cause harm. A person who is distracted and rear-ends another vehicle at a red light is negligent.
Intentional misconduct, on the other hand, is an action committed when the person knew that doing so could cause harm and did not care, or actively desired to harm others. Someone who drives at a high rate of speed, cutting in and out of traffic, is intentionally putting himself and others at risk.
The law of strict liability could apply in some circumstances, and neither negligence nor intent would need to be shown. A third cause of auto accidents is product failure, a prime example of which being the Firestone tire litigation. In those cases, defects in the tires caused accidents beyond drivers' control. The defects were not intentional but under the law, the manufacturer was responsible. A similar situation could exist if a repair to the car was done improperly and resulted in a crash. In some states, in the case of auto accidents caused by drunk drivers, the business or host who supplied the alcohol and allowed the driver to drive in an intoxicated condition could be found to have a secondary liability.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a vehicular accident, call a personal injury lawyer. Initial consultations are usually free of charge, and if they agree to handle your case, they generally will work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is a fee for their services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds.
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