Skip Navigation LinksHome > Practice Areas > Personal Injury > Auto Accidents
Auto Accidents

Automobile accident cases are generally decided based on the degree of negligence. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay any damages caused by their negligence, either to person or property. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise "reasonable care under the circumstances." Failure to use reasonable care is the basis in most lawsuits for damages caused by an automobile accident.

Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent. Some examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Driving speeds too fast or too slow for conditions
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to signal a turn
  • Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
  •  Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to drive on the right side of the road

A driver may also be liable for an accident caused by intentional or reckless conduct. A driver who is reckless is one who drives unsafely, with willful and wanton disregard for the probability that the driving may cause an accident.

Other Factors in Auto Accidents
In certain cases, accidents are caused by factors unrelated to the conduct of any particular driver. For example, under the law of product liability, an automobile manufacturer or supplier may be responsible for injuries caused by a defect in the automobile, or a component of the automobile.

In another example, if a mechanic fails to properly repair a vehicle, and the failure causes an accident, the person who improperly repaired the automobile, and his repair shop, may be liable for injuries sustained.

Other factors such as poorly maintained roads and malfunctioning traffic control signals can contribute to the cause. Improper design, maintenance, construction, signage, lighting or other highway defect, as well as improper striping on the road's passing lanes, an pothole or problem with the roadway that obstructs drivers' vision, or poorly placed trees and utility poles can also contribute to serious accidents.

Finally, if an accident is caused by an intoxicated driver, a bar or social host may be liable for damages sustained if they served an obviously intoxicated guest, who then drives and causes an accident.

Time is Important
In all automobile accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence. Skid marks, landscape disturbances, damaged signage, and other evidence that might reveal information about the accident fades away or gets repaired.  The Upstate Law Group can arrange to have experts investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. 

IMPORTANT: If an insurance claims agent for the person at fault calls to "interview" you, you should decline -- at least until you have spoken with an attorney. Despite what the insurance agent might tell you, they are probably NOT "just trying to help you." 

Call Us ASAP
We charge a small initial consultation fee and, if we agree to accept your case, we will offer to work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential or time-sensitive information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.