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Determining fault in a car accident

In most situations, fault in a car accident can be determined by looking at several important legal factors. Those include negligence, recklessness, intentional misconduct and strict liability.

With negligence, the inadvertent or careless conduct of an individual that leads into a collision, harm and/or damage. Negligence is one of the most typical fault determiners in car accident cases and it is usually a component in such claims. Negligence can arise out of a failure to act in a certain way or it can arise out of acting in a certain way. However, it does not imply that the at-fault party actually wanted to hurt someone.

Recklessness refers to an individual's purposeful disregard of the safety and/or best interests of others. Intentional misconduct refers to a person's purposeful disregard of the law. However, these also do not imply that the at-fault person was actually trying to hurt or harm another person.

Strict liability is a little bit different because it does not imply that a particular party was at fault, only that the party was liable for the accidents and/or injuries that resulted from a particular crash. Strict liability usually applies to company owners, employers or organizations whose employees were involved in a crash. In these cases, the employer of the employee who caused an accident may also be liable for damages.

At fault or liable parties in a car accident case have committed what is called a "tort" under common law. Those who commit torts, or "tortfeasors," can be forced to pay injured parties different kinds of damages, on the facts and injures related to a particular Illinois car accident.

Source: FindLaw, "Fault and Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents," accessed Sep. 11, 2015

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