In Auto Accidents, Buffalo Personal Injury Blog

3 Auto Accident Liability Questions

If you have been in an auto accident, you may be wondering who is at fault. It can be very stressful to have to worry about liability. Here are some answers to auto accident liability questions.

Auto Accident Liability Questions: Someone Else Crashed My Car; Am I at Fault?

3 Auto Accident Liability Questions  Buffalo Personal Injury AttorneyIn New York state, if someone else is driving your car and is involved in a car accident that is their fault, you can be held at fault. Particularly in New York state, we have a statute that is Vehicle and Traffic Law 388, Subsection 1, which says that if you provide your keys or permission to someone to use your vehicle and they’re involved in an accident, you are responsible. The key issue in those cases is whether the individual has been given permission. In the event that someone takes your car without permission – it doesn’t just necessarily mean that someone stole the vehicle, it means that permission was not granted – then, you may not be held responsible. There are a number of legal issues that come into play in those types of cases. However, the general rule is that someone driving your vehicle, who is involved in an accident, they’re at fault, and you become vicariously liable for their actions.

Auto Accident Liability Questions: Am I at Fault If There is Bad Weather?

Bad driving conditions can certainly affect your claim. Certainly, living in Western New York we have all experienced bad driving conditions. The question is, when we have inclement conditions, how does that bear on the liability of  a person who is involved in an accident? The simple answer is that the responsibility of every driver is to operate their vehicle in a manner which is consistent with the reasonable person under the circumstances.

What we argue is that means that in the event that there is inclement weather, or there’s slippery conditions, that the person’s responsibility is to act with more caution. In other words, if there is a speed limit of 55 and there’s inclement conditions, traveling 55 might not be reasonable. Those conditions coupled with the actions of the individual who’s involved in the accident will bear on the liability.

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Auto Accident Liability Questions: Who is at Fault in a Self-Driving Vehicle Accident?

The issue regarding liability for self-driving vehicles is a hot topic in New York law and all around the country right now. New York hasn’t really seen the influx of self-driving vehicles, or test sites, as some of the other cities and states in the county right now, but certainly, they’re coming. The issues that are arising right now is, who will be responsible? Obviously, the owner of the vehicle will be held responsible.

Now the issues are whether or not the manufacturers and even component part manufacturers are going to be responsible. Although it hasn’t been litigated, obviously, in New York state, we are monitoring this closely and will be attending more conferences regarding self-driving vehicles. What I would say is that it’s fairly clear that the component part manufacturers of self-driving vehicles will all be held responsible in the event that there is a failure. Failures can be proven in a number of ways.

If you have any further questions about auto accident liability, please call and schedule a free consultation with our dedicated Buffalo Personal Injury Attorneys today.

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