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Liability in motor vehicle accidents not always easy to determine

Motor vehicle accidents can have a wide variety of causes, from reckless driving to poor weather conditions. Of course, the specific circumstances involved in a case determine exactly who may be held accountable for injuries and fatalities. A skilled personal injury attorney is keen on this fact and seeks liability so as to afford the victim the best opportunity for compensation.

In some cases, the party responsible for a motor vehicle accident is clear. Take the example of a wrongful death case brought against a Charleston asphalt company. In that case, a father is suing the company for its role in the death of his daughter. In his complaint, he alleges that his daughter’s fatal injuries were caused by a company-owned dump truck which had stopped in the middle of the roadway due to an equipment malfunction, blocking traffic. 

In this case, the question of whether the defendant was negligent or even grossly negligent may not necessarily be an easy one to answer, but it is at least clear who to target, given the circumstances of the case. In other cases, it isn’t so clear. This is sometimes the situation with cases involving single-car crashes related to dangerous roadway design or failure to maintain a roadway in safe condition, which may not be immediately apparent. In other cases, there may be multiple at-fault parties, including the victim, and determining who is liable may be a real challenge.

All of this is to say that liability is not necessarily a clear cut matter in personal injury and wrongful death litigation, and that victims do well to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that they are able to identify all potential defendants and to obtain an appropriate amount of compensation from each.

Source: West Virginia Record, “Man blames I-77 dump truck incident for daughter’s death,” Annie Cosby, Dec. 24, 2014.

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