Negosentro.com | The Process of Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Case | Most personal injury cases are filed due to accidents caused by negligence or any form of unintentional act that resulted in harming the person filing for the lawsuit, but finding fault or liability in these lawsuits can be difficult. Since the easiest way to go about this is having the defendant admitting that he is the one responsible, liable, or negligent, and this doesn’t always happen in personal injury cases, you will have to opt for collecting pieces of evidence to ensure that the other party is liable. The following information outlines the important forms you will need to have in case you find yourself in this situation, so it’s best to keep those in mind, as knowing how the process goes beforehand will make it run much more smoothly as opposed to not knowing anything about proving fault in personal injury cases.
What the court will be most concerned about in your case is who’s at fault. This can be determined by the many factors and circumstances surrounding the case. Naturally, the attorney you’ll hire is expected to investigate the accident and determine which party is at fault. This includes compiling evidence in order to make a successful liability determination. Your attorney alone won’t be able to compile the evidence, so you might as well know what type of evidence is needed and how you can collect it. These types are:
- Insurance Claims
Usually, before filing lawsuits, the insurance company will investigate the circumstances of the accident and determine which party is liable, but if the parties cannot definitively determine who is liable, they will have to file for a personal injury lawsuit. In rare or unusual personal injury cases, Jeff Preszler from Preszlerlaw-ns.com says that the insurance company will look to see if a ‘chain of causation’ is responsible for your injury; this establishes fault and determines whether someone is liable for the damages that you suffered. So, this can be used as a piece of evidence to prove the liability of the other party.
- Witness Testimony
Having a third party testify and providing details regarding the accident can be a very powerful piece of evidence. In the eyes of the law, a third party will have no connection to the plaintiff or the defendant, and they will be able to give a full account of the events of the accident without being biased towards either of the two parties. At that point, whether a witness came up to help you or they were just passing by you when the accident occurred, a testimony of any witness is crucial for the process of proving fault and may even swing the odds in your favor, as it will carry weight more than anyone else involved.
- Medical Documents
Right after the accident, you might need immediate medical attention for your injuries and suffering. The medical records should be solid evidence in this case. However, there are other cases when you’ll feel fine right after the accident due to an adrenaline rush for example. If you’re actually fine, then you won’t need to collect this type of evidence, but if you were in a collision accident, there is a high chance that you have suffered a head injury. This is why it is necessary to go to your doctor for an examination. If there was a serious injury, or if you’ve suffered a concussion, then a medical report that records this can be used as evidence. Some injuries, like a concussion, can often be overlooked, but if it’s not treated properly, it may lead to death. Don’t expect, however, for all your physical and mental injuries to manifest right after the accident, as they can often appear a while after that day.
- Photos or Videos
After the accident, collecting data on the scene can be imperative for the investigation. So, you can take photos and videos of the scene if you can from different angles, as both parties can drop some details when giving their statements due to shock or disorientation. However, you may have sustained some serious injuries which will prevent you from doing so. In that case, you can have one of the witnesses, or even a friend or a family member if they’re there, to take photos or videos of the scene. Videos and photos fresh from the crime scene can be extremely important for the process of proving fault. That’s why you should try to collect that evidence, even if you were incapacitated at the time.
Because most personal injury cases occur due to a negligent act on the part of either party, there are a couple of legal elements which you will have to prove through the evidence you’ve collected such as the duty of the defendant towards you, breach of legal duty, causation of harm or injury to the plaintiff, and the damage sustained due to the defendant’s actions. An example of this is monetary consequences, like the medical bills you paid for your examination and treatment, property damage, the money you didn’t take due to missing work, etc.
How the Process of Proving Fault goes
In all cases of personal injury, you will have to use evidence and facts to prove fault. Therefore, you’ll start investigating along with your attorney to find evidence that will prove the liability of the other party. The examples mentioned here, if collected, should suffice enough evidence for the investigation along with police reports and any other documents that your attorney deems necessary, but when the evidence becomes too strong against the defendant, you can expect some sort of legal defense from the defendant to reduce his liability. Comparative fault, for example, will appropriate a certain percentage of the liability to the defendant as well as the plaintiff. The assumption of risk shows that the plaintiff was well aware of the danger awaiting him and took the risk anyway.
Personal injury cases can be very complex, especially when it comes to proving fault. The process may take time and quite the effort to get the evidence that proves that the other party is fully liable for the damages. This is why in these cases you need the help of experts and a personal injury attorney to give you guidance in this dire time.