CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Who is at fault in an accident?

For the law to make someone pay when there's been a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, three things are needed:
1) There has to be a rule or accepted way of doing things that weren't followed. Lawyers and the courts call this a duty. The rules of driving are what everyone learns (or just memorizes) to get a driver's license from the OMV. Knowing and following those rules, and sticking to the accepted way of doing things, is a driver's duty. Along with following the OMV rules, drivers must follow "the accepted way of doing things" (lawyers and the courts say, "use reasonable care"), which basically means that while on the road, drivers must pay attention and keep control of their car, truck or motorcycle.  (See "/ Was Paying Attention" and " Control Your Car").
2) The driver who is being asked to pay made a mistake by not following the rule or the usual way of doing things. Lawyers call this a breach. While figuring out if a driver broke an OMV rule seems easy, sometimes both drivers broke the rules (that's where an attorney can help make sense of things).  Even if no the rules of the road are broken, the fact that there's been an accident means one or more of the drivers didn't follow the accepted way of doing things. Once you explain what happened in your accident to an attorney, they can tell you who failed to respond or drive in an accepted way (both from their own experience trying cases and researching other cases).  Generally, when both drivers are at fault, the law applies the rules of comparative fault  (See " What does the Phrase "Comparative Fault" mean?" ).
3) Because of a driver's mistake, people and/or property got hurt.  Lawyers call this damage (See "Personal Injury Damages-What you're able to recover" ).  Sometimes people who are damaged in accidents claim they should be p.aid for more than the damage they got from the accident.  An example is a person who was hauling a broken chair in the back seat of their car, and they claimed it got broken when they were rear-ended.  Or someone who already had missing teeth claims they lost all their teeth in the accident.  The damage claimed needs to have been the result of the accident, not something already broken or damaged.  The damage needs to be due to the mistake of the at-fault driver.
When people who are injured unreasonably contributed to their injuries (for example, by not wearing their seatbelt or taking the headrests out of their car), the courts take this into account, as not all of the damage that came out of the accident was actually a result of the accident. These three factors are what lawyers and courts look at to decide who is responsible for a car, truck, or motorcycle accident. We encourage you to look around our website and learn more about it to better understand who may be held liable in your case.
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"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
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