It’s your worst nightmare – A car in oncoming traffic swerves halfway into your lane and you are forced to sideswipe several vehicles parked along the street in order to avoid a head-on collision. Determining who’s at fault for this mess depends on where you live and what laws are in place there. Our legal experts weighed in on some of the more likely outcomes.
Liable for the Damage You Cause
The answer would depend on the specific case, as there are many factors to be taken into consideration, and the situation would be analyzed carefully to determine who is at fault, and what the damage is.
In my experience, as a general rule, you can still be liable for the damage you cause, even if you were avoiding another car that was in the wrong, to stop that from becoming an accident. However, the degree to which you are liable might be reduced by the fault found in the car that swerved.
Comparative Negligence Laws
There is something called “Comparative Negligence” in Texas. Comparative Negligence means each person can be assigned a percentage at fault for an accident. For this incident, the court may assess the car swerving and causing you to crash into the other vehicles as some negligence.
While you may also be assessed as responsible for crashing into the vehicles depending on what you could have done to avoid the accident, like following too close, overcorrecting your evasive action, speeding, or distracted driving.
There are other possible faults depending on the facts and the situation, but in Texas, each person involved may have some comparative negligence depending on the circumstances. It’s best to get familiar with the laws in your state, since they may be similar.
Richard J. Brandenstein
Richard J. Brandenstein is a New York-based attorney, and FBRLaw partner, specializing in Administrative Law.
Driver Is Liable with Rare Exceptions
When it comes to the state of New York, if a driver hits a parked vehicle, the person driving the car is held liable for any damages caused. This is a fairly straightforward process in the vast majority of cases. However, in some cases, the person driving the car may not be classed as the person at fault, which is true in some cases of injury.
In these rare incidents, the cost of the damages can be lowered if the person driving was seen not to be at fault for the crash. For the most part, it’s typically the driver who would be liable, however.
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