Motor Vehicle Accidents and The Law

Was a police report filed?
  • Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of injury in the United States. As a country of drivers, it's not surprising that one of our biggest dangers is being involved in a car accident. According to the NHTSA, there's an accident about once every ten seconds - and these accidents often involve either injury to a person or damage to a car. A car wreck can have a lasting impact not only on a person's ability to come and go as they please, but can also have a lasting impact on how they live their lives. It's no wonder, then, that car accidents are often the subject of litigation. A good accident lawyer knows that motor vehicle accidents can be litigated under a few different legal theories.

    The most common reason a car accident attorney will get involved with a wreck is because of reckless driving. Under this general theory, the responsible party didn't just have an accident - he or she acted in a manner that disregarded the possibility of causing harm. While this might seem self-explanatory to someone schooled in the law, it's harder for most plaintiffs and defendants to understand. Speeding through a school zone can be seen as reckless, for example, even if an individual doesn't think cause will be harmed. An accident lawyer knows that disregard for the law is often enough to show one isn't thinking about the harm that could be caused.

    There are other legal reasons to bring a car accident to court, of course. One can look at some form of intentional misconduct as the reason behind the cause of the accident. Intentional misconduct can take many forms, but generally speaking these are actions that go far beyond being merely negligent - the driver has to take an actual action which he or she knows will cause harm. This isn't just ignoring the safety of others, but taking a real action to make others unsafe. This is less likely to occur than recklessness, but it still happens.

    There are even cases in which the accident's fault will be due to strict liability. Strict liability cases are always rare, of course, but they do occur with vehicle accidents. A good car accident attorney knows that strict liability generally only kicks in where there's some kind of statutory automatic fault or product defect - but that it is something that must be looked at in a case.

    There are many reasons to bring a motor vehicle accident to court. Whether you're looking at theories of recklessness, strict liability or intentional misconduct, the end result tends to be the same. At least one person will suffer some kind of harm, and at least one person will need restitution to be made. A good lawyer picks the right theory that fits the circumstances and acts accordingly. While the sheer number of car accidents in the United States might make it seem like litigating car accidents is easy, it's important to remember that every accident leads to a very different case.

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