Many things can go wrong when you get into a car accident. If another driver was at fault, you could file a liability claim to recover damages. Therefore, it is essential to understand the different types of car accident liability claims.
Keep in mind that being involved in a car accident can be devastating to you and your family at large. The financial burden of car repairs, medical bills, and missed work can quickly become overwhelming.
If you have been in a car accident, it is crucial to seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your legal options and ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
This article discusses the different types of car accident liability claims that may be available to you, depending on the circumstances of your accident. Read on to learn more.
What Does It Mean to Be Liable for a Car Accident?
Before we discuss the different types of car accident liability claims, it is crucial to understand what it means to be liable for a car accident. When we say that someone is liable for a car accident, we mean they are legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident.
There are many ways that a driver can be held liable for a car accident. Some examples include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
If you have been in a car accident and another driver was at fault, you can file one of the following types of liability claims.
What Are the Different Types of Car Accident Liability Claims?
Now that you understand what it means to be liable for a car accident, let’s look at the different types of car accident liability claims available to you.
1. Dram Shop Liability Claim
A dram shop liability claim is a type of third-party claim that may be available to you if you were injured in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.
Under most state laws, bars and restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol to people who are already drunk. If they do, and the person becomes involved in an accident, the bar or restaurant can be held liable for damages.
To file a dram shop liability claim, you must show that the bar or restaurant served alcohol to the drunk driver while they were already intoxicated. You will also need to show that the drunk driver’s intoxication led to the car accident in which you were injured.
You can also sue the establishment if they willingly served alcohol to an individual who is habitually addicted to alcohol.
2. Product Liability Claim
A product liability claim is a type of third-party claim that may be available to you if you were injured in a car crash caused by a defective car part.
When we talk about defective car parts, we refer to any part of a car that is not working correctly or as it should. This can include things like brakes, tires, and airbags.
If a defective car part leads to a car accident in which you were injured, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the defective part.
To succeed on a product liability claim, you must show that the defective part led to the car accident. You will also need to show that the defective part was not properly repaired or replaced before the accident occurred.
3. Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Accident Claim
The law in most states requires all drivers to have some form of car insurance. However, there are still a significant number of drivers who operate their vehicles without insurance.
If you are involved in a car accident with one of these drivers, you may be able to file an uninsured or underinsured driver accident claim.
An uninsured motorist accident claim is a type of first-party claim filed against your insurance company. An underinsured driver accident claim is a type of first-party claim filed against the other driver’s insurance company.
To file an uninsured or underinsured driver accident claim, you will need to show that the other driver was at fault for the car accident and that they did not have any insurance at the time of the accident.
4. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim
A negligent infliction of emotional distress claim is a type of third-party claim that may be available to you if you were injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence.
To file a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim, you must show that the other driver’s negligence led to the car accident in which you were injured. You will also need to show that you suffered some emotional distress as a result of the accident.
Typically, the types of emotional distress covered by this type of claim include things like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
5. Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a type of third-party claim that may be available to you if your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence.
Under most state laws, certain family members are allowed to file a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one in a car accident. The specific family members who are allowed to file a claim will depend on the state in which you live.
To file this type of claim, you must show that the other driver’s negligence led to the car accident in which your loved one was killed. You will also need to show that your loved one would have been entitled to file a car accident claim if they had not been killed in the accident.
The damages available to you in a wrongful death claim mostly depends on the state in which you live. In most states, the damages available in a wrongful death claim include medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages.
Have you been involved in a car accident? If so, you must speak with an experienced car accident lawyer immediately to learn about the different types of liability claims that may be available to you.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and help you determine which type of liability claim is right for you.
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