In many cases, an automobile accident may truly be an accident- that is, neither party may be at fault. This can be due to such factors as mechanical error of the car, weather conditions, or a third party that caused the accident.
However, some automobile accidents can be directly caused by driver error. These are rarely intentional either, but the other driver can be held liable according to principles of negligence (failure to uphold the duty to drive safely). Thus, when determining who is liable for a car crash, the court usually needs to question whether driver error caused injury to the other party.
What Are Some Examples of Driver Error?
Driver errors can come in many different forms. Depending on the circumstances, some forms of driver error can lead to legal liability more easily than other. For example, failure to follow traffic signs and signals will almost always lead to legal liability.
Some other examples of driver error may include:
- Failure to yield to other drivers
- Unsafe driving or recklessness
- Road rage
- Speeding and other moving violations
- Distracted driving– this can include cell phone/smart phone use while driving; applying makeup or shaving while driving; programming a GPS device while driving, etc.
- Failure to correct broken car parts, such as a brake light or headlights
- Dangerous maneuvers, such as unsafe passing, dangerous turning, or following too closely
- Driving too slowly
- Failure to securely park the car, causing the vehicle to rollaway
More serious errors such as drunk driving or intentionally causing an injury may be classified under criminal laws. Driving laws may vary by state- each jurisdiction may have different rule regarding the treatment of driver errors. Also, it’s possible for both drivers to be in error, in which case the damages award may be lessened according to the liability of each party.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Legal Issues Involving Driver Error?
Driver error in an automobile collision claim can sometimes be difficult to deal with. In many cases the assistance of a professional such as an expert witness or a lawyer may be necessary. You may wish to contact a qualified car accident lawyer in your area if you need assistance with driver error laws. Your attorney can help provide you with valuable legal advice, and can represent you in court if necessary.