Common Questions About Personal Injury Fault
July 29, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered injuries because of the negligence of another person or party, you may be wondering what you can do to get your life back under control. Most people know you can file a personal injury lawsuit, but do you know how to prove fault? As a personal injury lawyer can explain, here are some common questions answered about personal injury law.
Who Determines Fault?
Ultimately, fault can be decided by multiple parties. For example, if you settle out of court, you, the defendant, your attorneys and the insurance company may all agree about who was at fault. If you go to court, however, the jury will decide negligence.
How Can You Prove Fault?
If you want to prove fault, you need to have evidence. For example, if you were in a car accident, you would collect accident reports, witness testimonies and medical records. To prove fault, you have to establish that one person acted negligently. To be liable for your injuries, the defendant had to have some kind of duty of care towards you. An example of a duty of care would be a doctor in a hospital or another driver on the road.
Next, you have to prove that the other person breached that duty and because of the breach caused your injuries. His or her negligence has to be directly responsible for damages such as medical bills, property damage, lost income or pain and suffering. Without damages, you do not have a case.
How Can the Defendant Argue Against Liability?
Not all personal injury cases are cut and dry. In cases in which the fault may not be obvious, the defendant can claim comparative fault. Comparative fault implies that both of you share the blame for the accident. In this case, if you were to win the lawsuit, you would only be paid a percentage of the damages associated with your fault in the accident.
A defendant may also claim that you understood the risk of injury and confronted said risk. For example, if you were playing in a sporting event and became injured, you would already have full knowledge that sports could be dangerous and you may become injured as a result. If you were to suffer an injury, odds are you cannot file a lawsuit against your coach or other players that caused the injury.
When determining fault in a personal injury case, it isn’t always black and white. To ensure that your case receives the respect it deserves, set up a consultation with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. He or she will ensure that you have enough evidence to fight the defendant inside and outside the courtroom.