Determining liability in a Pennsylvania car accident

When a Pennsylvania resident is involved in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages to cover medical expenses and other costs. Your damages will partially depend on who the court finds liable for the accident. Courts will look at various factors to determine who was negligent in the accident.

Courts will typically look at whether a driver disobeyed the traffic signs, failed to signal while turning or drove above the speed limit. If the driver was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or disregarded road conditions, he may be found liable. Courts will look to various sources to determine fault, including police reports, state traffic laws and witnesses.

Reckless driving in Pittsburgh can also mean liability. Reckless driving involves driving unsafely with clear disregard for the probability that such driving could cause an accident. Excessive speeding and improper lane changing or passing could indicate reckless driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving is a progression of unlawful driving actions such as these.

In a few cases, neither driver is found to be at-fault for the accident. Accidents can be caused by factors unrelated to either driver. In car accidents where there is a defect in the vehicle, automobile manufacturers or suppliers may be held liable for injuries that occur in the accident. The victim may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the seller of the product. The manufacturer will likely be liable, even if he was not negligent. Determining liability and fault is critical to figuring out who will receive damages after an accident.

Source:, “Car Accident Basics,” accessed on Sept. 30, 2014