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If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle
accident and wish to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, you
must prove that party’s liability.
However, the evidence you need to collect and the strategies you employ to prove liability often varies depending on the defendant.
Below is an overview of several examples of defendants in an auto accident case and liability issues that could arise for each of them.
Standard passenger car drivers
When an accident involves one or more drivers of typical passenger vehicles, claims proceed in a relatively straightforward way. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy is typically on the hook for paying out any damages incurred in the crash.
The driver who files the claim simply needs to prove the defendant was negligent in his or her actions on the road. Perhaps he or she ran a red light, which caused the accident that led to the injury. This is enough to prove liability.
Accidents involving bus drivers have some unique issues a plaintiff must consider. Usually, the bus driver will not be the defendant in the case. Instead, the private company or public agency that oversees the driver is more likely to be the defendant. This is due to a legal principle known as “vicarious liability,” in which the actions of the employee are considered the same as those of the employer.
Bus accidents also fall under “common carrier” law. Common carriers have a responsibility to display an elevated duty of care, as their services are offered to the general public for a fee. Common carriers and commercial drivers must operate with the highest degree of care possible for the safety of passengers and the general public. Thus, attorneys assisting plaintiffs in accidents involving buses should be well-versed in common carrier law.
Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have become mainstays of the transportation industry. As they have exploded in popularity over the last several years, questions surrounding liability in crashes involving these drivers have also become prevalent. They’ve even been subject to high-profile court cases and decisions.
Uber drivers must be properly insured, but for some, personal auto insurance coverage might not cover them if they drive for a service such as Uber or Lyft. Uber does provide some auto insurance coverage, so long as the driver’s Uber app is switched on at the time of the collision. This means victims of car accidents caused by Uber drivers could file a claim through the Uber-sponsored policy in some circumstances.
For more information on liability issues after a serious car accident, contact a skilled New York personal injury attorney with Robinson & Yablon, P.C.