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Personal Injury Cases: Determining Fault

Personal Injury Cases: De…

In any personal injury case, the key question asked is which party was at fault. While anyone involved in the incident may feel they know who was at fault, the fault needs to be proved legally. The reason being the person who is at fault is responsible for paying damages or the compensation to the injured individual. This article will discuss how to determine fault in a personal injury case.

One legal dictionary [Fault Law and Legal Definition | US Legal, Inc.] defines faults as “a negligent or intentional failure to act reasonably or according to a law or duty. It is an improper act or omission causing injury to another person and arising from ignorance, carelessness or negligence”. It is possible in a car accident scenario for driver Peter, who was involved in an accident with driver Jane to feel that Jane is at fault for the accident. While Jane may feel and believe that Peter is at fault for the accident. As a result, the question is who determines liability in a personal injury case?

It is important to note that the person who determines fault or liability depends on the circumstances of the case. However, if you choose to use the best car accident lawyer group [https://www.crowsonlaw-wasilla.com/] to represent you in your case; it is likely that they will do the following:

  • carry out an investigation of the case
  • make a discovery of all likely at fault parties in the case
  • come up with a final liability decision, and
  • make a representation of your case to the defendant(s) or in court

Generally, parties that are at fault in a personal injury claim normally carry liability insurance. As a result, when it comes to paying a damages award for the personal injury claim the burden lies on an insurance company to make such payments. Consequently, insurance companies carry out their own investigations and come up with their own independent liability determination. As the burden lies on them to pay the damages, doing this is in their best interests.

Where the parties fail to agree on who is at fault for the accident, you may decide, on the advice of you lawyer, to file and pursue a personal injury lawsuit. By doing this you are giving the jury or judge the right to decide for themselves who was at fault for your personal injury.

There are a number of methods that are used for proving fault. One of the most common and traditional methods is that of negligence. Negligence requires the plaintiff to prove four legal elements in order to succeed in their case. These elements are:

  • duty,
  • breach of duty,
  • causation, and
  • damages

Other non-traditional methods of proving fault include the following:

  • Intentional conduct - as the term suggests this means the harm was done with the desired purpose. It is often linked to personal injury cases of assault.
  • Negligence per se- this is applicable when there exists an unexcused violation of a statute. For example, reckless driving resulting in the injury of a pedestrian.
  • Strict liability - this means the plaintiff does not need to establish the defendant’s negligence to recover damages. For example, product liability cases.


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