Can more than one party be held liable for an MVA?
A: In Alberta, it is indeed possible for more than one party to be held liable for a motor vehicle accident (MVA). When multiple parties contribute to an accident, they may each bear a portion of the responsibility. This concept is known as contributory negligence, and it plays a significant role in determining fault, liability, and compensation in MVAs.
Under Alberta's contributory negligence framework, the courts will assess the actions and decisions of each party involved in the accident to determine their respective degrees of fault. The fault will be apportioned as a percentage, with the total sum of all parties' fault equaling 100%. Each party will then be held liable for damages in proportion to their share of fault.
For example, consider a scenario where one driver failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with another driver who was speeding. Both drivers contributed to the accident. The court might determine that the driver who failed to stop at the stop sign was 70% at fault, while the speeding driver was 30% at fault. In this case, each driver would be responsible for compensating the other's damages based on their percentage of fault.
It is also essential to consider the role of insurance companies in cases involving multiple liable parties. In Alberta, the province operates under a no-fault insurance system for certain aspects of accident benefits. This means that regardless of who is at fault for the accident, each party's insurance company will cover their medical expenses and rehabilitation costs up to a certain limit. However, for damages such as pain and suffering, loss of income, and property damage, the parties will still need to pursue compensation from the at-fault parties based on the contributory negligence framework.
Furthermore, there may be situations where entities other than drivers are held partially or fully liable for an MVA. These can include:
Vehicle manufacturers: If a defect in the vehicle's design or manufacturing contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be held liable.
Road maintenance authorities: If poor road conditions or inadequate signage played a role in the accident, the agency responsible for maintaining the road could be held accountable.
Employers: If a commercial driver caused an accident while working, their employer might be held liable under the principle of vicarious liability.
Given the complexity of determining fault and liability in cases involving multiple parties, it is crucial to work with an experienced personal injury law firm like Kantor LLP Personal Injury Lawyers. Their team can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence, and represent your interests to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages based on the specific laws and regulations in Alberta.