Who May Be Liable if an Out-of-Control Car Causes a Crash?
A driver who loses control of his or her vehicle may be liable for damages in most cases. However, the insurance company will try to deny liability for the crash.
If you were injured in an accident with an out-of-control vehicle, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. Let our New Jersey auto accident lawyers discuss your claim during a free consultation.
There are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid when we successfully recover compensation for you, so there is no risk.
What Can Cause a Driver to Lose Control of a Vehicle?
There are several reasons why a driver may lose control of his or her vehicle.
Poor Weather Conditions
Inclement weather of any kind can pose a serious hazard for drivers. However, there are some weather conditions that may be more dangerous than others.
In New Jersey, like all northern states, drivers must deal with black ice. This is one of the most common reasons drivers lose control of their vehicles, and could result in serious collisions or pileups. Wet roads due to rain, sleet and snow also make it easy for a vehicle’s tires to lose traction, resulting in a loss of control accident.
When a driver loses control due to poor tire traction, it is best to pump, not step on, the brakes. This gives the tires an opportunity to regain traction. Additionally, drivers should steer into the skid, not away from it, to avoid losing full control of the vehicle.
Although inclement weather is not a driver’s fault, how he or she reacts to the weather is. Drivers who fail to take necessary precautions, like slowing down or steering into the skid, to avoid a collision, may be liable for damages.
Hazards on the Road
If there is a hazard in the road, such as fallen cargo, debris or some other obstruction, drivers are expected to react reasonably to avoid a crash. However, this is not always the case. A driver who makes a quick jerking motion to his or her steering wheel could easily lose control of the vehicle, resulting in the vehicle careening into others on the road.
Drivers who react this way may be liable for damages depending on other factors, such as whether he or she could have slowed down or safely come to a full stop to avoid a collision with the object.
When a driver’s careless or reckless actions result in him or her losing control of a vehicle, that driver is usually the liable party if an accident occurs. Reckless driving could include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Weaving through traffic
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Vehicle owners are responsible for the proper upkeep of their vehicles. This includes getting the tires, brakes and steering checked.
If a driver loses control of his or her vehicle due to the poor maintenance of any one of these parts, he or she could be liable for damages.
Many causes of out-of-control vehicle collisions may intertwine, as one may lead to another. For example, poor tire traction could make it more likely that a driver loses control on wet or icy roads. Speeding could also result in a driver jerking the steering wheel, causing him or her to lose control if an object suddenly falls onto the road.
How Will the Insurance Company Deny Liability?
When you file a claim after an out-of-control vehicle accident, the insurance company will look for any reason to try and deny your claim.
They may try to argue that the driver losing control of the vehicle could not have predicted the circumstances of the road, and therefore they should not be held liable for damages.
While sudden hazards on the road or poor weather conditions are not a driver’s fault, there is a legal requirement to take additional precautions and act reasonably to avoid a collision when an emergency arises.
The insurance company may also try to deny compensation if the at-fault driver was driving recklessly. For example, if the driver was speeding or weaving through traffic. While these are extremely careless actions, insurance companies generally cover said actions. Therefore, if their insured driver caused a crash, they should be liable for damages.
What Should I Do if I am Injured in a Crash With an Out-of-Control Car?
The most important step after an accident is to get immediate medical attention. One of the most efficient ways to do so is to get treated at the scene by an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or by going to the hospital or an urgent care facility.
Once you have been treated by a doctor, you should strongly consider speaking with one of our experienced lawyers. New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning you must file a claim with your insurance company first. Our lawyers have decades helping accident victims in New Jersey, so they know the laws and procedures for pursuing compensation.
Call Us Today
If you have questions about liability or your legal rights after a crash with a driver who lost control of his or her vehicle, call us today.
We offer a free and confidential consultation. There is no obligation to take legal action.
Call 800-518-0508 to learn more.