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Carpooling Accidents: Who Is Responsible?

March 23, 2020

A carpooling accident is no different from any other type of accident when it comes to driver liability. An exception may occur if the carpool is work-related. If the driver was driving within the scope of his or her employment, the driver’s employer may be liable. However, this likely does not apply in cases where the driver and other occupants of a vehicle were on their way to or from work.

Most states recognize the doctrine of comparative fault. If a passenger in a vehicle contributed to the accident, the amount the passenger is allowed to recover may be reduced their at-fault percentage. This also applies where more than one driver was responsible.

How Is Fault Determined?

Fault is a question of fact to be determined by the judge or jury who is hearing the facts of the case. Even when it is clear that a plaintiff was injured, many cases proceed to trial based solely on a defense that the plaintiff was partially or fully responsible for their injuries.

In many cases, police will make a preliminary finding of fault based on evidence available, such as skid marks, witness statements and property damage. In complex cases, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to create a report about the cause of an accident by examining photos, physical evidence, reports and other evidence.

How Can an Attorney Help?

A Montana personal injury lawyer can help plaintiffs who were injured in carpool accidents file a claim for compensation. Montana car accidents claims are limited by a time limit known as the statute of limitations, so it is important to contact an attorney at Bulman, Jones & Cook right away. Personal injury compensation lawyers can assist a plaintiff with every stage of the proceeding, including investigation of the accident, negotiating with insurance companies and filing a lawsuit requesting a jury trial.