Ways a driver can be at fault for a motor vehicle accident

Published by Marshall & Gibson Lawyers on the 18 January 2017

If you have been injured a car accident, it's possible that you can a claim for compensation. However, your claim can be significantly affected depending on who is at fault. There are a number of different ways that a driver can be at fault, or partly at fault for a motor vehicle accident. To ensure you're well informed about your circumstances and what they might mean for your compensation, here are three of the most common conditions for liability:

1. Dangerous driving

If one of the parties involved in an accident is proven to have been driving dangerously, they will likely be held liable for the event to some extent. According to legal advice site Findlaw Australia, dangerous driving that results in the injury of another person is considered an offence under Australian Law. Perhaps the driver was going at an excessive speed, failed to follow the road rules properly or was just generally reckless. In any of these cases, it could be deemed dangerous and the individual held responsible.

2. Negligence

Negligence is very similar to dangerous driving, and involves the driver, or even the passenger acting or failing to act in a way that puts them and others at unnecessary risk. The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority gives the example of not wearing a seatbelt as negligence, or not wearing a helmet while on a motorbike. Other circumstances could involve a driver not thoroughly checking for hazards or getting distracted from the road by checking a phone, eating, adjusting the seat or a similar activity.

3. Being under the influence

Lastly, being consciously impaired in some way, or knowingly riding in a vehicle with an impaired driver, also incurs fault for an accident. This is particularly consequential if the driver of a vehicle is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the degree that they were able to properly control the car at the time of the accident. Findlaw Australia states that in this case, the court will consider the degree to which the driver's ability was impaired and how this contributed to the accident.

Whether you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, are to blame yourself or are partly at fault, it's important to consult a lawyer to see where you stand and whether your can make a compensation claim. But first remember to report the accident to police within 24 hours, seek medical treatment for your injuries and note that a personal injury claim form must be lodged within 6 months from the date of injury so contact us now on 1800 675 417.