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Media post: Can a Private Seller Be Liable for a Car Accident?

Being involved in any type of car accident can be a traumatic and stressful event but, sadly, it isn’t uncommon. In one year alone, there were more than 5,000 car accidents in Alachua County and more than 391,000 throughout the whole of Florida.

If you’ve been caught up in an accident and someone else contributed to the cause of the incident, you may be eligible to obtain compensation for your injuries. However, apportioning blame and determining liability can be more complicated than it seems, which is why it’s important to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer.

Who Is Responsible for the Accident?

To determine who you need to make a claim against, your car accident attorney will gather and examine evidence relating to the accident.

In some instances, it might be quite clear who is liable for the incident. If you were walking on the sidewalk and a speeding driver left the road and collided with you, for example, you’ll be considered one of the 143+ people who is injured in a pedestrian crash each year in Alachua County and it should be relatively easy to prove the driver is liable.

Often, liability is a more complex issue as more than one road user can contribute to a crash. If Driver A switched lanes without indicating and Driver B was speeding, for example, both drivers could be deemed to have contributed to the subsequent collision. If so, your legal team will analyze the specific details of the incident and determine what percentage of liability each party holds.

Can a Faulty Car Cause a Crash?

If your car malfunctions, it can certainly cause or contribute to a crash. When a vehicle’s brakes don’t work properly, for example, it may be difficult or impossible for the driver to avoid colliding with other road users.

When vehicle malfunctions are considered to be a contributory or causative factor, it’s important to identify who is really responsible for the accident. If the fault occurred because of a design or manufacturing error, for example, the vehicle manufacturer could be liable for the subsequent accident and resulting injuries.

Alternatively, if a car owner doesn’t maintain their vehicle properly and doesn’t have known faults repaired, they are more likely to be held accountable if a collision occurs due to the car malfunctioning.

Generally, a private seller won’t be held liable for a car accident that occurs after they have sold the vehicle. However, if they negligently misrepresented the vehicle when they sold it and this misrepresentation contributed to the accident, it is possible that the seller could be held accountable.

Getting Legal Help From an Experienced Lawyer After a Car Accident

As you can see, determining liability requires expertise, experience and knowledge of car accident law, which is why it’s beneficial to work with experienced car accident lawyers after a collision. As well as protecting your own liability, your attorney will work diligently to help you prove who was responsible for the incident so that you can obtain the compensation you deserve.

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