What You Need To Know About Liability For Disabled Drivers

In some cases, car accidents involve disabled drivers. If you find yourself involved in an auto accident with a disabled driver, you should seek the assistance of a car accident lawyer. Here's a look at the definition of disabled drivers and when they may be held liable for an accident.

Who Is a Disabled Driver?

A disabled driver is a person who cannot operate a vehicle without some form of special accommodation. A disabled driver has their disability status indicated on their license. For example, a driver who cannot use their legs will need special hand controls in the vehicle to act like pedals.

Some other modifications that help accommodate disabilities include hand controls for accelerating and braking, power steering, and automatic transmission. Some vehicles also have a siren detector for those with hearing disabilities and other specialized features for a specific disability.

Liability in a Car Accident

Disabled drivers have the same responsibility to drive in a non-negligent manner like any other driver. Negligence is when a driver fails to act with reasonable care resulting in damages to someone else. Therefore, a disabled driver's action in connection with an accident is measured against what a reasonable individual would have done. A person who deviates from this standard is guilty of a car accident.

For instance, if a driver is supposed to operate their vehicle with extensions on their foot pedals and they don't have these during a car accident, they're at fault for the crash. Similarly, if a disabled driver met the license requirements, didn't drive negligently, and didn't breach any traffic laws, they cannot be held liable for the crash. Your car accident attorney will help prove your innocence based on your observance of the reasonable duty of care standard.

Defenses for a Car Accident

Like in accidents involving ordinary drivers, the defenses for a car accident involving a disabled driver will also depend on whether you're in a state that observes comparative or contributory negligence laws. In comparative negligence states, if the injured claimant was 50% or more liable for the accident, they'll not receive any compensation. In a contributory negligence state, if the complainant is even partially responsible for the accident, they'll not receive any compensation.

Additionally, you can make a claim against the manufacturer of the modification components installed in your vehicle. For example, an accident may be caused by a malfunction in the foot pedals or automatic transmission. In this case, the disabled driver can attribute the accident to the manufacturer of these components. To learn more, contact a car accident attorney.