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
- 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
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
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 "
trying to help you."
Call Us ASAP
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
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.