My Headlight Was Out and I Was Injured in an Accident

My Headlight Was Out and I Was Injured in an Accident

Visibility should be your top priority when driving at night or in inclement weather. If you are not able to see dangers in the road — such as other drivers, objects, slippery conditions, or animals — accidents can happen quickly. One of the most basic ways to ensure you can see at night is by cleaning and maintaining your vehicle’s headlights.

People who drive cars with inadequate lighting know that they are potentially putting themselves and others in danger. If your headlight is out and you are injured in a car accident, can you still recover compensation? Or is your broken headlight a sign or negligence, and therefore, liability?

Vehicle Maintenance and Safety

Car accident liability involves more than an analysis of each driver’s behavior. Although a person who drives recklessly will often be held responsible for damages, there are other factors that are considered.

A factor that can impact driving safety that is independent of the driver’s behavior is vehicle maintenance. A driver who does not properly maintain their vehicle can contribute to safety issues and resulting collisions. A malfunctioning headlight while driving at night is extremely dangerous, and if it can be proven that your headlight was out before the accident, it’s possible that you will be identified as at fault.

An important component of determining fault in a broken headlight situation will depend on your knowledge of the malfunction, and your efforts to correct it. For example, a headlight that broke shortly before the accident may not be as damning, because you did not have time to fix it. If the headlight has been out for weeks and you haven’t fixed it, you could be labeled as negligent.

The Other Driver’s Liability

Even if your headlight was out before your car accident, your liability may be less if the other driver was behaving especially negligently. If the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for example, they would likely be identified as mostly at fault for the damages.

Proving Fault

During the car accident claim process, the other driver’s insurance company will do whatever they can to label you as liable and avoid paying the claim. They may utilize an expert witness to evaluate the mechanic state of your vehicle, or rely on witnesses who can testify that your headlights were out.

Fault in these situations will ultimately depend on the specific circumstances of each case. If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision and need advice, contact Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC for a no-cost consultation.

To schedule a free case evaluation with our legal team, call (859) 253-0088 or send us a message.


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