Often, the allocation of fault after a car crash firmly places the blame on one driver or the other. Distraction, chemical impairment or even falling asleep at the wheel are all obvious reasons that one person is to blame for a collision.
The driver who is at fault will be liable for any property damage or injuries that result from the wreck. Other people affected by the collision could file a claim against their insurance policy or even take them to civil court.
A police investigation or even a crash reconstruction may be necessary to allocate faults to one driver or the other. In rare cases, there may be someone other than one of the drivers with legal or financial liability for the crash. When does that sometimes happen?
After a drunk driving crash
North Carolina restricts when a business can serve alcohol to someone or when social hosts can provide alcoholic beverages. A restaurant that knowingly serves alcohol to someone already visibly drunk violates the law and may have liability if that driver goes out and causes the crash. The same could potentially be true of those who provide alcohol to underage drivers.
After a commercial crash
Commercial trucks can cause catastrophic collisions if they strike a smaller vehicle. Many times, one of the drivers will be at fault for these wrecks, but sometimes there is another party to blame.
If the truck’s brakes failed because the trucker’s employer didn’t maintain their vehicle, the company might be to blame for the wreck. If a client improperly loaded the trailer or did not notify the driver about the presence of liquids, that company might ultimately be responsible for the driver losing control of the vehicle.
When one person affects the driving of others
Occasionally, people cause crashes without actually taking part in the collision. A driver who cuts off an SUV, forcing them to slam on their brakes and swerve and then hit someone might be at fault for that crash. People racing on public roads or going the wrong way on a one-way street could easily be the ones ultimately to blame for a crash between two other vehicles.
Figuring out who is responsible for your car crash can help you get compensation for the losses that you experience because of the wreck.