Duty of Care Is the Responsibility of Every Driver
Liability is connected to the concept of “duty of care” on the road, and it affects you and others in an accident. All drivers have a duty of care to not cause harm to others on the road. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow this duty, which is why there are roughly 6 million accidents in the U.S. every year.
What Is Duty of Care?
Every driver is responsible for other drivers and vehicles on the roadway. This concept is known as a “duty of care.” With this responsibility, the driver must obey the rules of the road, keep their focus on their driving, and pay attention to other motorists. Drivers must be vigilant and aware of all vehicles, including motorcycles, larger semitrucks, and passenger cars. However, the duty of care extends not only to drivers but also to other entities. These entities include:
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Employees with drivers
- Establishments that serve alcohol
- Government agencies that maintain the roads
As you can see, drivers are not the only ones who can be responsible for an accident. If you have been injured or need to claim damages, you should seek the professional advice of a car accident lawyer at RAM Law.
Determine Who Violated the Duty of Care
It is not always an irresponsible driver who causes a car accident. In some cases, you can pay attention to the road and still be involved in a crash.
On the other hand, a driver who fails to adhere to the traffic laws can cause an accident. If you need to determine liability for your situation, you must find out if the other driver violated this duty of care. Some accidents have several entities or individuals responsible for a crash. These cases can be particularly complicated if an injury claim is being filed. For this reason, you’ll need an experienced car accident lawyer to help determine liability for your particular case.
Driver Responsibility on the Road
When liability is obvious, the case will be simple. However, what happens when there are extenuating circumstances and complications? Driver error is responsible for more accidents than any other cause, but pinpointing the error is often subjective. Clear liability is more common in two-vehicle accidents. In a multivehicle accident, it is a little harder to determine liability in a crash. You may need the help of witnesses and the police report to determine who is at fault. There are several ways a driver can be held liable for a car accident, including:
- Distracted driving: Texting and driving is the most common type of distracted driving. However, other common examples include eating, drinking, talking, or even changing the radio station while driving. A driver is responsible for keeping their attention on the road and away from the distractions in the car. More than nine people are killed every day due to distracted driving.
- Reckless driving: Drivers who fail to stop at a light or properly change lanes cause a lot of accidents. These reckless drivers are often considered liable for damages. Overall, 33% of fatal traffic crashes are caused by reckless driving.
- Speeding: While speeding may be common, that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Roughly 30% of fatal accidents are caused by speeding. Someone who causes an accident while driving over the speed limit will likely be considered liable for damages.
- Drunk driving: Alcohol plays a role in 40% of fatal roadway crashes. That’s why all states have severe penalties for those who are driving while under the influence. When an impaired driver causes an accident, the full legal liability is often on that individual.
Get Legal Help After Your Car Accident
It can be difficult to determine liability in your car accident case. That’s why you’ll want to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to fight for compensation that covers damages. If you’ve been involved in an accident and you need to determine liability, turn to RAM Law. Call our New Brunswick office at (732) 247-3600 or our Somerville office at (908) 448-2560.