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Third-Party Negligence in Car Accident Claims — Who is at Fault?

In car accident cases, liability can typically be attributed to either driver, or it can be determined that negligence by both parties contributed to the collision. Third parties can come into the mix during collision claims — it is possible that a person or entity who was not involved in the actual incident is responsible for victims’ injuries.

In Cases of Maintenance Issues

Some collisions occur because a car has mechanical problems that have not properly been addressed. This can still be the fault of the driver if they failed to repair an issue they were aware of, but when the driver was not aware of the maintenance issue, other could be at fault. For example, a mechanic who did not prepare a concern correctly or a manufacturing company who released a defective part or vehicle could carry some liability in the accident claim.

The Fault of Uninvolved Drivers

The actions of a third-party driver can contribute to an accident, even if that driver was not actually involved in the collision. A person who drives recklessly (e.g. by swerving or stopping suddenly) can elicit a response in other drivers that causes them to crash.

Passenger Liability

A passenger who distracts or otherwise impairs the driving ability of whoever they are in the car with could be liable for the injuries of others if their actions cause an accident. Distracting a driver, persuading them to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or encouraging reckless driving behaviors are all things a passenger can do that could identify them as an at-fault party in a collision case.

A Case of Multiple Potentially Liable Parties

In a recent Charleston, WV case, the victim of an accident believes that numerous parties (other than the driver) are responsible for their injuries — and is pursuing legal action against each one of them.

According to the West Virginia Record, an individual is suing another driver and a Recovery Point employee who owned the car the other driver was in, as well as “Recovery Point of Huntington, Recovery Point Systems, Recovery Point West Virginia Behavioral Health, the Milton Police Department, FCA US LLC, and Fiat Chrysler Corp.”

The injury victim believes each of these parties “were negligent and caused her injuries and damages,” and is pursuing compensation (including punitive damages) for her suffering. The negligent driver reportedly “had taken a vehicle from” the employee of the addiction treatment center and rear-ended the victim before leading police on a high-speed chase.

This case is certainly unique, but car accident claims in which multiple parties may be at fault are common. Determining who is responsible for your injuries will require the expertise of a knowledgeable attorney — contact Troy Law Firm PLLC to schedule a free consultation.

Use our contact form or call (304) 315-2299 to get in touch with our lawyer and discuss your case.