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The Different Parties that Can Be Held Liable in a Car Accident



It’s the weekend. Your chores are done. You have the entire evening to yourself. So you set out for a relaxing drive. A driver crashes your car from behind and ruins your entire evening. Now you’re left with a damaged car, a pain in the neck, and a potential lawsuit.

You need a lawyer in times like this. Not just to prove liability in the car accident case but also to make sure that you receive just compensation for the damages you have suffered.

But finding the liable party isn’t easy. There are many factors to consider when determining who is liable. This article aims to help with that task. It lists the possible parties who can be held liable in a car accident.

The Other Driver

Most of the time, the other driver is the liable party in a car accident. All drivers owe a duty of care to each other and everyone else on the road. Accidents happen when a driver engages in an act that breaks this duty of care. The act can be anything, from a driver busy on the phone to someone who’s driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Vehicle Manufacturer

The vehicle manufacturer can be held liable when a car accident is caused by defective parts. A brake failure in a newly purchased car or a steering wheel issue that caused an accident are two scenarios where the vehicle manufacturer can be held liable.

The previously-mentioned scenarios are applicable when parts are in the warranty period. Even without a warranty, some states have laid down strict guidelines on the standards specific products must meet. The plaintiff can use this to their advantage and file a claim.

A Business

Some businesses employ drivers, either to deliver goods to customers or to transport material to the business. They are known as commercial drivers. below are a few examples of commercial drives.

  • Ridesharing services
  • Delivery vans and trucks
  • Passenger vans
  • Moving vans
  • Food delivery

If you’re involved in a car accident with a commercial vehicle, the driver and the business can be held liable.

A Government Agency

It is the responsibility of the government to provide roads that are in usable condition. In some cases, a government agency can be held responsible for a car accident.

Like other options on the list, you need the help of a lawyer to prove this. The building and maintenance of US roads are allocated to different agencies. Your lawyer can help you find the right agency that was responsible for your accident.

An Auto Mechanic

This is only applicable when the accident happened after the car had just been serviced. The auto mechanic can be held liable if the accident happened due to their negligence in providing quality service. Auto mechanics have a duty of care towards all their clients. They will bear responsibility for an accident that happened due to their substandard work.

Dram Shop Laws

In rare cases, an establishment that served liquor to a driver can be held liable for the accident. The establishments here refer to bars and liquor stores. In some states, they are required by law to deny alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of intoxication.


You now know the different parties who can be held liable in a car accident. This article is only meant to be informative. You’ll need the help of a lawyer to prove the fault of the liable party and bring them to justice.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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