The Importance of Retaining an Attorney Who Will Perform a Thorough Investigation

by Christopher Hoffmann on Dec. 12, 2013

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Property Damage 

Summary: If you have been involved in a car accident, the best way to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to is to seek out an attorney that will perform a thorough investigation of your case.

Often times when a person is injured in a car accident, the question of who is ultimately liable will be a factor.  Even if there is clear evidence of fault from one driver, there are other factors to consider.  Who holds the title for the car, who is covered under its insurance policy and whether or not the car being used in the scope of the offending drivers employment.  The answers to these questions will help your car accident attorney decide the best course of action to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.

Determining Who is Liable

In most cases, the owner of a car is the person whose name appears on its registration and insurance.  If they choose to lend their vehicle to someone and that person causes a car accident they could be held liable for the damages, especially if it can be proven that they knew the driver was reckless, or that their car had dangerous defects. The vehicle owner could then be sued for negligent entrustment of their car.   If the driver is a minor child of the car owner, then the parents may be found at fault under the Family Purpose Act. 

When the Driver is an Employee

Another factor that a car accident lawyer will investigate is whether or not the car was being used as part of the drivers’ employment.  Regardless of who owns the vehicle, if an employer assigns a task to an employee that involves traveling, and that employee is involved in an accident, the employer could possibly be held liable.  Cases like this are often difficult as the employer will try and argue that the driver was not acting on their behalf at the time of the accident.  Intense investigation may be necessary to prove otherwise.

There was an interesting case a few years ago, where an employee was driving home from work with two other workers in his own, personal vehicle, when he crossed the center line and struck another car head on.  The driver of that car was left paralyzed, and his passenger lost his life.  Normally an employer is not responsible for an accident that occurs while the worker is commuting to or from the job, except in special circumstances.  In this instance he was transporting other employees home.  In order to avoid a potential lawsuit from their injured employees, the business owner allowed their workers compensation insurance to pay for their injuries, while denying liability for the car accident.  Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that they could not accept fault in one case and deny it for the other.  The court agreed and the matter was settled for 4 million dollars before the completion of trial.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

In order to help an injured party receive the full compensation they deserve, their attorney must be willing to explore all possibilities for fault and do a complete investigation of the events surrounding the accident.

If you have recently been injured in a car accident, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. right away. We can evaluate your case for free and help you determine what your legal options are.

Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.

photo credit: OpenSkyMedia via Flickr

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