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Determining Liability after a Car Accident

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2017 | Firm News

While determining liability after a serious accident can be a stressful, combative experience, it is integral to securing compensation. Although insurance companies will try to reach a settlement for the amount you are owed, we want to ensure you receive reparations equivalent to injuries you have sustained or property that has been damaged. Our team of lawyers at Mauk Miller, PLLC will work tirelessly to help you determine car accident liability and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If you are involved in an accident, call our Boise, ID, office or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation.

Factors Used to Establish Liability

When establishing liability, an insurance company seeks to understand how much a party is at fault for an accident. The distribution and extent of liability will often dictate who is responsible for paying damages and the dollar amount owed. In car accidents, there are several factors come into play when determining liability.


Drivers have a responsibility to act with a certain degree of care when behind the wheel. If a party acts unreasonably and places others at risk of harm, they may be found negligent. In order to prove negligence, you must demonstrate the defendant:

  • Breached their duty to reasonable conduct by acting in a manner which was not safe
  • Could have avoided the accident by acting in a more thoughtfully
  • Directly caused the accident or injuries that took place by violating their duty

Even if the other party was also injured or if you are partly at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. This may be the case if the defendant was, for example, ignoring traffic laws and therefore acting negligently. Idaho is a comparative negligence state, meaning if you were partly responsible for the accident, your compensation will be lessened by your degree of liability, but not completely nullified.

“Delaying action can prevent you from receiving full and fair compensation.”


If a defendant acted with utter disregard for the safety and welfare of others, and knew or should have known the consequences, they can be liable for damages. Reckless drivers include drunk drivers, drivers participating in drag races, and other drivers who make conscious choices that place others at risk. In accidents where recklessness is involved, there is often no question as to who is liable.


When a driver acts maliciously or intends to cause harm, this is known as intentional misconduct. Similar to reckless drivers, drivers found guilty of intentional misconduct are almost always held responsible for paying damages.


If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury or catastrophic injury as a result of a defective product in a vehicle, this falls under strict liability. The manufacturer of the product is directly liable for paying any damages that occurred as the result of a malfunction.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

If you suffered injury or property damage following a car accident, our attorneys at Mauk Miller, PLLC can help you build a strong case, so you can secure the damages you are entitled to. Compensation may cover:

  • Medical bills and rehabilitation
  • Emotional damages for pain and suffering
  • Loss of income following catastrophic injury
  • Wrongful death as a result of an accident

In cases where a police report lists you as the party at fault, an accident attorney can help you develop a statement to minimize your liability. We can also help you cite appropriate traffic laws that support your claim. Let our team handle all of the paperwork involved, so you can focus on recovery.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you have suffered a personal injury from a car accident, time is of the essence. Delaying action can prevent you from receiving full and fair compensation. Before settling with an insurance company, call our practice or contact us online to schedule your case review with one of our attorneys.

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