Filing a Claim When Another Driver Isn’t at Fault
Accidents With No At-Fault Party
Sometimes it’s easy to know who to point fingers at in the aftermath of an accident. In some cases, however, driver negligence isn’t a factor in an accident. There are actually countless cases in which the factors that caused the accident were outside the drivers’ control. So when the other driver is not the cause, how do you go about getting compensation for any injuries you sustained or damages to your vehicle?
When no one is at fault for the accident, the drivers involved have to explore other potential causes for the accident in order to make a claim—some of the most common causes of accidents outside driver negligence are vehicle defects, negligent repair and maintenance of the vehicle(s), road defects, and obstructions in the road.
- Defective Vehicles
When a vehicle or part of a vehicle is “defective,” it’s considered unreasonably dangerous for regular, intended use. The staples of a car—i.e. the brakes, the steering wheel, the tires, and so on—are components you need and assume will work every time you go out for a drive. Especially if you’ve done everything on your end to ensure that your car has been properly maintained.
However, vehicular defects are surprisingly common—all parts of a vehicle have potential to be defective and, in the case of an accident, individuals can pursue compensation from the manufacturer and other companies involved in the construction of the car.
- Negligent Repair
If a maintenance or repair shop gave poor or negligent service that was ultimately connected to the accident, it’s possible to seek compensation from them as well. Just like everyone else, mechanics are prone to mistakes and both dealerships and independent repair shops can be held liable if someone didn’t fix up your vehicle properly. Unlike with car defects that are subject to being a “strict liability,” average negligence standards apply to mistakes from repair and maintenance visits.
- Road Defects
Maybe nothing’s wrong with the vehicles that crashed. Maybe the road conditions were to blame. Some conditions can’t be controlled, be it weather or an animal darting out, but some road conditions can definitely be to blame for an accident, including poor maintenance, bad road design, lack of lighting or signs, and more that pose serious dangers to unsuspecting drivers. Claims for road defects usually go against government entities and are limited by special rules and restrictions.
- Road Obstructions
Hazardous objects or downed foliage left in the roadway or obscuring signs along the road can cause serious accidents as well. Trucks that neglect to secure their cargo and landowners who let their property become unruly and overgrown along with other third parties in some cases can be held liable for accidents that occur because they have allowed road obstructions in their negligence.
Consulting experienced accident attorneys after an accident is always your best plan of action—when the at-fault party isn’t clear or when no driver involved is to blame, the case gets more complex and an attorney becomes necessary. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, contact the attorneys at Boughter Sinak, LLC for a free evaluation. We’ll go above and beyond to get you the compensation you deserve.