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Car Accident Investigation – Liability of Other Parties

In many car, motorcycle or truck accident cases, parties other than the drivers may be held liable for causing the accident. In serious and catastrophic car, motorcycle and truck accident cases, it is crucial to investigate the accident properly to determine liability, or negligence, of other parties, not just the immediate drivers.

Negligence under Pennsylvania law is defined as the absence of ordinary care that a reasonably prudent person would use in similar circumstances. Negligent conduct may consist either of an act or a failure to act. In other words, negligence is the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do or doing something that a reasonably careful person would not do.

In the context of car accident cases, there are several scenarios in which other parties are liable for being negligent. Whether it is a single car accident, a car versus motorcycle accident or a truck accident, other parties liable often include:

  • private business owners,
  • individuals, and
  • government entities.

Private business owners may include land owners, business owners, property management companies and the like are often liable for a defect on their property which contributes to an accident. Overgrown shrubs, failure to have appropriate traffic control signals on and around the property, or defects in design of parking lots may contribute to an accident. In addition, private business owners may be liable for a condition of the property which leads to a pedestrian accident.

It is important to note that succeeding in proving liability in these kinds of cases can be very costly and should only be pursued in serious, catastrophic accident cases. Design experts, roadway experts and accident reconstruction experts will often be required to prove liability, and experts fees for trial can easily exceed $100,000.

Private individuals (homeowners) may be liable for a condition of the property which contributes to an accident. For example, a homeowner whose property causes excess water to pool on the road may be liable for a car accident in the winter due to excessive ice, caused by water flowing from the property. Like with private business owners, private individuals may also be held liable if shrubs on their property prevent drivers from being able to see traffic signs or otherwise prevent drivers from seeing roadways clearly.

Related: Investigating Motorcycle Accident Cases for Liability Beyond the Other Driver

In addition to private business and individuals, other parties such as government entities and product manufacturers may be liable. Government entities may be liable for roadway defects. Product manufacturers may be liable for a defectively designed of defectively manufactured product.

Each case is unique and having a qualified, experienced car accident lawyer investigate the case could make all the difference in a serious case.

More car accident legal articles:

Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer

If you’d like a NO-COST review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey car accident lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle car, truck and motorcycle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

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