Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, yet you never know when the unfortunate day might come when you find yourself in one. And well, the old adage is true. It’s better to prepare for the day that you hope will never come. Sure, you have your insurance to help put your mind at ease, but there are so many aspects on handling and recovering from a car accident.
This article shows what you should do when you’re involved in a car accident, but for those who are extra curious on what exactly happens in the room where you’d find a judge, a gavel, and lawyers, then you’re in the right place. The seasoned lawyers at the Michael P. Fleming law firm broke down for us what exactly it means to be “at fault”.
What is a Fault?
This concept is better understood through the principle of Res Ipsa Loquitur that states that: “The occurrence of an accident implies negligence.” Having said that, there will always be a root cause of an accident, and that cause is often going to be a responsibility that a individual is supposed to handle. This principle is the framework for the four basic levels of fault:
- Negligence – Failing to do something to avoid an accident (as is the case when one refuses to yield to a vehicle that has the right of way) and doing something that causes an accident (like running a red light).
- Recklessness – Exhibiting a willful disregard for the safety of persons and property. This implies that the person is aware that there is a chance that his actions might cause harm and injury to others, but he does not intend for any accident to happen (as is the case when one drives while under the influence of any illicit substance).
- Intentional Misconduct – Executing a particular action with full knowledge that the deed will cause harm and injury. This implies that the person is undoubtedly sure that his actions will cause harm (as is the case when one intentionally rams another car).
- Strict Liability – Carrying out an action that is inherently dangerous to the general public. In this case, there is no need to prove that there was a fault, rather, the burden of proof lies in whether the fault did in fact occur (as is the case when one transports dangerous chemicals or weapons).
While it’s true that all legal matters are going to be handled by your lawyer, it’s important to be aware of these levels of fault if we’re all to be responsible drivers. After all, using the roads is a privilege accorded by the government. We are all subject to its rules and regulations and it’s important to be able to discern whether our actions warrant fault.
Regardless of whether you’re at fault or you aren’t, if you’re involved in a car accident then you’re going to need a good lawyer. After all, not all battles are fought on the front lines, some are fought in the courtroom.