After an auto accident, one of the first steps toward securing a fair settlement is to acquire evidence of the other party’s negligence in order to establish liability. However, establishing liability of the other party is not always simple. In this post, we’ll discuss the definition of “legal liability”, fault and the steps you need to take when making a claim.
What is Legal Liability?
Generally, accidents take place because one of the parties involved acted in a careless manner. This party is often referred to as the at-fault party. According to the law, the at-fault party is typically responsible to pay at least a portion of the damages for the injured party. If you are injured in the accident, you must prove the other party was careless/negligent and that such careless/negligent behavior caused your injuries. This will require proving the following:
- Duty of care. The injured party must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care. This means that you were in a reasonable place at a reasonable time. Under these assumptions, the defendant was under a “duty of care” to operate his or her vehicle safely and responsibly.
- Breach of duty of care. This is critical to establishing legal liability – it shows that the defendant breached his duty of care and should not have.
- Causation and damages. Finally, you must be able to provide evidence that the defendant was the cause of your injuries and to provide evidence of the value of your injuries.
Proving each of these things is essential in a personal injury case. Unfortunately, doing so can be difficult. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your interests and get the payout you deserve.
Could Your Own Carelessness Affect Your Claim?
What if you got into an accident while you were texting? Could this affect your payout? The answer is yes. In most states, however, you’ll still get at least some compensation for your injuries. As a general rule, the amount the other person owes will depend on their carelessness vs. yours. The percentage of liability will then determine the payout amount.
While there’s no formula for arriving at this number, an experienced injury and accident attorney can help. This is especially important if you’re dealing with (or are) an uninsured driver.
Determining the legal fault after an auto accident can be difficult. Fortunately, the team at Ward & Barnes is here to help. A skilled team of personal injury attorneys, we specialize in helping our clients get the claims they deserve after an injury. If you’re ready to learn more about our team, our services, or how we help secure compensation for our clients, contact us today. We’re happy to discuss your case with you.