Frequently Asked Questions About Traffic Accidents

If you talk to your personal injury lawyer about traffic accidents, he or she might tell you that he or she has had many clients who ask questions about traffic accidents.

What determines the party at fault in a car, truck, motorcycle, or bike accident?

Once the insurance adjuster or jury/judge knows who the careless party is, they automatically know who was fault. Everyone who drives must be licensed, and in order to obtain that license, they must pass a written test. Then they must pass a short driving test.

The fault is obvious when the vehicular accident occurred because one of the drivers violated a traffic rule. However, it is not as obvious when, for example, drivers merge into a single lane of traffic and cause an accident. These types of incidents fall under the ‘law of negligence.” You and your personal injury lawyer must prove that four elements were met/occurred before you can accuse the other party of negligence:

●    The law requires the driver to exercise a standard and duty of care in that particular situation
●    The driver failed to do so
●    The driver’s actions caused your accident and property damage/bodily injuries.

Can I be held liable if I was involved in a rear-end crash?

Yes, especially if you were the driver who caused the crash (you hit the other driver from behind!) The driving rules state that you must maintain a ‘cushion of space’ while driving. This is true even when stopping. The evidence from the vehicle that was damaged will generally indicate who was at fault.

Am I always at fault if I make a left turn and then get into a car accident?
Yes, you almost always are. There are three exceptions though:

1.    The car going straight was speeding
2.    The car going straight ran a red light
3.    You made your turn when it was safe, but then something unexpected happened and you ended up hitting another car.

What happens is one of the accident victims shares the fault?

Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that your final settlement will be reduced by the percentage to which the victim was at fault. This is according to the comparative negligence rule. The contributory negligence rule states that you will not receive a settlement at all if one of the accident victims was at fault.

What happens when a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet?

Well, what happens depends on the state in which the motorcycle accident occurred in. your personal injury lawyer in La Quinta will inform you of this. If you live in a state that requires a helmet to be worn, you probably won’t be able to collect a settlement. You can collect a settlement if you live in one of the few states that do not require a helmet law.

Who can I sue if I was involved in a trucking accident and was the victim?

Generally, yes. But the fact that many parties are often involved complicates the situation somewhat since it can be difficult to prove their fault. Some parties you could potentially sue are:

●    The truck driver
●    The truck owner
●    The leasing person or company
●    The manufacturer
●    The shipper or loader

Who is at fault in a bike and car collision accident?

The person who caused the accident since bike riders are considered to be driving motor vehicles. They must, therefore, follow the same rules of the road that car drivers do.

What happens when a scooter is involved?

Generally, the person who caused the accident. This means that you can sue the scooter driver in court if he or she was responsible for the accident.

What do I do if I am involved in a traffic accident?

Your lawyer will tell you to take detailed notes of the accident. It also helps to take pictures and have other admissible evidence ready. This will help you if you ever decide to file a claim against or sue the other driver in court.