Making a Determination of Legal Liability
Most accidents occur because somebody was being careless, or negligent as it is referred to in legal terms. One must make a determination of liability, which is who is legally responsible for covering your injuries (or at fault). There is a basic rule that applies to each accident situation: One person involved in an accident is typically less careful than another. The less careful one must pay for at least a portion of the damages suffered by the more careful one. Here are some things that can help make a determination of carelessness:
- Sometimes, the injured person was in a place where he or she was not supposed to be. In this case, the person who caused the accident may not be found liable due to the fact that the person had no “duty” to be careful toward the injured person.
- If the injured person was careless as well, comparative negligence may come into play. His or her compensation may be reduced because their carelessness was also responsible for the accident.
- If a negligent person causes an accident while working for someone else, the employer may also be legally responsible for the accident.
- If an accident is caused by a defective or harmful product, the manufacturer and seller of the product are both liable even if the injured person doesn’t know which one was careless. This is in regards to creating or allowing the defect of the product, or exactly how the defect happened to them.
Comparative Negligence In-Depth
In what situation would comparative negligence come into play? This would be relevant in a circumstance where it is hard to say that another person was entirely responsible for your injuries. Under this rule, blame is appropriated to both people in percentage amounts, and any awards are reduced accordingly. There are just no concrete ways for anybody to determine exact fault in many situations. Determining the amount of blame that can be placed on you usually comes down to a negotiation. A claims adjuster may approach you and come to you with a percentage to place on your case, and you can either accept this or make an argument that their calculation is not correct.
The Four Parties of Negligence
There are four basic legal elements involved in a personal injury case that will help make the determination of negligence. These must be proven to hold a party liable for personal injury damages:
- Duty: There was a legal duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant. For instance, all vehicle drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists on the road.
- Breach: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached a legal duty.
- Causation: The defendant must have been the cause of the plaintiff’s harm or injuries. This elements typically ends up being obvious in injury cases and is normally not in question.
- Damages: The plaintiff must incur damages from the accident. This could include medical bills, lost income, property damage, and more.
Personal injury cases involve very complex legal procedures and laws. Attorneys are wonderful to have on your side to preserve your rights and make sure you get the compensation you are fairly entitled to. Contact your attorney at WTW today to see where you stand in your possible claim.