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Accident liability: who can be held responsible?

Accident liability: who can be held responsible?

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  • Friday May 22nd, 2015

Individuals who drive in McAllen and elsewhere throughout Texas run the risk of being involved in an automobile accident. When an accident occurs, the victim often wonders who will be held responsible for the injuries and/or damages sustained. Most McAllen auto accident lawyers will tell you there are a few common elements of proof needed to recover compensation for such injuries in Texas motor vehicle accident cases.

Typically, truck and car accidents occur due to someone’s negligence. There are various types of negligent behavior that can lead to collisions, such as:
• Following too closely behind another vehicle
• Falling to properly control the motor vehicle
• Failing to yield the right-of-way
• Failing to drive at a proper speed
• Driving on the wrong side of the roadway

This list is not exhaustive of all the ways in which automobile accidents can occur. What is important for accident victims to understand is that all drivers have a responsibility and a duty to use care when operating their motor vehicles. Those who fail to use such care can be subject to legal liability for injuries and damages.

Proving Your Case

To prove negligent acts led to your auto accident, an accident victim must demonstrate that the at-fault driver was the “proximate cause” of the injuries incurred. Simply stated, the act (or failure to act) must have been such that a reasonable person using ordinary care would have reasonably foreseen the outcome stemming from the event.

If causation and negligence are adequately demonstrated, the accident victim may be entitled to receive monetary compensation from the at-fault individual(s). Quite often, individuals who have sustained personal injuries seek payment to cover past and future medical bills.

However, in Texas, victims may also be entitled to receive compensation for:
• Lost wages (past and future)
• Loss of consortium
• Physical impairments and disfigurement (past and future)
• Mental anguish (past and future)
• Physical pain

In certain instances, a victim may also be entitled to receive punitive damages which are damages intended to punish the at-fault individual.

Other Liability Considerations

Individuals should also be aware that in some cases, personal injury claims stemming from automobile accidents can also be brought against entities or individuals other than the negligent operator. For instance, if the negligent driver was working for a business or individual at the time of the accident, the employer might bear some legal responsibility for the damages sustained.

Similarly, the owner of a motor vehicle may be held responsible under a theory of “negligent entrustment” if the owner carelessly entrusted the automobile to an individual who they knew (or should have known) was unlicensed, reckless and/or an incompetent driver.

Whether the accident occurred due to someone’s inattention, impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs or excessive speeding, the resulting injuries and damages can be very serious. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an automobile accident and you would like to learn more about your rights under the law, contact a skilled auto accident lawyer a Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. as soon as possible. Time is of the essence.

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