How To Determine Fault In A Personal Injury Claim

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How To Prove Fault In Injury Claims

Proving fault is key to getting compensation in your injury case, but it’s not always an easy thing to do. Many times there is no hard evidence to prove who did what so we have to resort to other methods. One of the leading fault determinations is negligence and is the cause of the majority of injury claims that we come across. Let’s look at the details so you can understand what all this means for you and your injury claim.

people blaming accident on another person

Negligence Is The Leading Factor

If you are involved in a personal injury claim, negligence is a word you’ll be hearing a lot. Many injury cases are caused by another person’s negligence, but what is negligence? Negligence is basically a breach of your duty of care for others around you. This means understanding that there are rules/laws you need to abide by, but choosing not to and in turn end up causing some sort of accident. This can be from a car accident where you were speeding or driving reckless, drunk driving, not clearing ice off the steps of your business entrance, knowing your product malfunctions in a dangerous manner and selling it anyways or many other scenarios.
The key here is that there was a duty to perform in a manner that protects the safety of others, that duty was ignored at the time, the breach of duty is closely related to the injuries that were caused and there were losses and damages that were suffered by the claimant. When all of these parameters are met, you have yourself a negligent act and can now easily show whos fault the accident was. This can help increase your compensation package and ultimately make it much easier to settle your case quickly.

Other Ways To Prove Fault

Negligence isn’t always provable or obvious in some claims, so sometimes we have to resort to other methods of proving fault. Some of the most common methods are detailed below.

Strict Liability And What It Means For You

If you are a business owner, you need to be familiar with Strict Liability. It means that as a business, you are inherently responsible for how your products function and the safety of that product. This means proper warning labels for any part of the product that could be dangerous, proper packaging that is safe for customers to use, proper safety testing before distribution of any potentially dangerous products or even including ingredients or exposing contents of a package to ingredients or chemicals that can make the user sick or could be allergic to.
If the company fails to maintain proper safety standards across all of these different aspects, the company will likely be held liable for any injuries caused by their product.

Willful Or Wanton Misconduct Accidents

When you choose to act in a dangerous manner that you know could cause an accident or affect the safety of those around you, this is willful or wanton misconduct. Similar to your breach of duty when we spoke about negligence earlier, willfully acting in an unsafe manner will turn into liability if someone is injured due to your actions. For example it could be drag racing in a neighborhood and hitting a child with your car or throwing objects into a crowd of people and giving someone a laceration. Both of these acts would be considered willful or wanton misconduct because you know you have a duty to act in a safe manner around other people and willingly abandoned your duty by performing that act.

How To Disprove Fault In Injury Cases

If you find yourself on the defending side of a personal injury claim, you’ll want to know how to disprove the fault that the other party is putting on you, but unless you deal with this type of thing everyday, it is unlikely you will know how. So let’s talk about how we disprove fault claims against our clients.

Partial Fault And Why It Matters

Partial fault is exactly what it sounds like. It means that the other party did something that helped the accident happen. This could be illegal window tint on their car affecting the person’s ability to see, crossing over into the other persons lane, jaywalking in front of oncoming traffic, turning on a red light or similar events where the accident wouldn’t have happened or have been as bad as it was without the contributing acts from the other party.
When partial fault is apparent in a case, it means that the settlement amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the claimant was responsible for. In cases where both parties are deemed 50% liable, there will not be a settlement because both parties were equally at fault. However, if the claimant was only 10% at fault, then 10% of the settlement amount would be removed to make things fair.

Liability Of The Employer

When a company employs someone that they know is not fit for the job, has a previous history of criminal activity relating to that job position or fails to fire an employee who has had multiple complaints about their risky actions, then they can be held liable for actions that the employee takes. For example if a restaurant has an employee that has been caught multiple times leaving food out at room temperature when that food needs to be refrigerated and it ends up causing an illness in a customer, the company can be held liable for the incident because they failed to take action on their employee that was regularly putting other people’s safety in danger.

Trespassing

When someone trespasses on your property and injures themselves, they cannot bring a personal injury claim against you because they were not legally allowed on that property to begin with. This has been used as a defense many times in history and is always a laughable event when we hear about it because of how absurd it is to file a claim against someone whos land you trespassed on. However, if someone trespasses and you take deadly action against them when they are posing no threat to you or your family’s safety, then they could file a claim and potentially win. Use of deadly force in trespassing situations is not permitted unless the trespasser is posing a direct threat to you or other persons on the property.  You always owe a duty of care, even to a trespasser, not to willfully or wantonly injure them.

Why You Need An Expert Personal Injury Attorney

Now that you understand how we prove fault in injury cases, do you think you can go out and handle your claim on your own? Probably not, which is why we are here to help! We deal with these types of things every single day and know exactly what to do to prove fault or disprove it. Having an experienced attorney on your side that specializes in personal injury cases is extremely valuable. Not only for your settlement amount, but for the overall chances of coming out on top. With decades of experience backing the decisions we make, you can be sure you are getting the best representation possible from our friendly team at Rector Stuzynski LLC. Give us a call today for a free consultation or feel free to stop by our office and meet with us in person.

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