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How is Fault Proven in An Injury Causing Accident?

  • By interactive
  • 07 Nov, 2017
Personal Injury Attorney - Fitch & Stahle Law Firm

After you’ve survived an injury-causing accident that was not your fault, the main job of a personal injury attorney is to prove that the other party was wholly responsible for what occurred.

But how exactly does a lawyer make that case?

In other words, what is the process that a personal injury lawyer takes to help prove that his or her client did not cause the accident?

Gather the Evidence

Whether your injury was caused by a car accident, slip-and-fall, construction mishap or medical error, the first job of a personal injury lawyer is to gather evidence.

For example, in a car accident, a lawyer would want to have photos and videos of the accident scene, eyewitness testimony, and the official police report.

This evidence can help the lawyer reconstruct the accident to show how the other party was at fault.

And while this may not guarantee that the other side’s insurance company will want to settle based solely on the evidence, it’s a strong starting point on which to mount a case.

Make the Case for Negligence

In many personal injury claims, the lawyer for the plaintiff will have to show that the accident was caused due to the negligence or carelessness of the other party.

Although standards differ slightly, most states require a plaintiff to prove negligence based on four factors, including:

  • Duty – the other party had a legal duty to the plaintiff. For example, in a slip-and-fall accident, the owner of the premises had a duty to keep the premises free of obstructions that could cause someone to fall.
  • Breach – the other party breached or violated that duty. In the example above, the owner of the premises failed to keep the premises free of obstructions that would cause a fall.
  • Causation – the other party directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries because he or she was negligent in taking action to prevent an accident.
  • Damages – the plaintiff suffered injuries or was harmed by the negligence of the other party. When calculating damages, the attorney for the plaintiff will include physical damage to property, medical bills, loss of wages due to missed work, and pain and suffering.

What If You Were Slightly at Fault?

In some cases, the other side may be able to prove that the plaintiff contributed in some way to the accident.

That is known as comparative negligence, and it can affect a plaintiff’s chances at victory or affect how much compensation a plaintiff receives.

In some states, compensation is based on the percentage of fault that a judge or jury assigns to the plaintiff. So, if a judge or jury decides that a plaintiff is 30 percent responsible for an accident, the plaintiff would receive 70 percent of the award.

But in some states, a plaintiff who is found liable for 50 percent or more of the accident forfeits the entire award.

The personal injury firm of Fitch & Stahle has the experience to build a strong case against the other party. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Fitch & Stahle Law Firm Blog

By interactive 07 Nov, 2017

After you’ve survived an injury-causing accident that was not your fault, the main job of a personal injury attorney is to prove that the other party was wholly responsible for what occurred.

But how exactly does a lawyer make that case?

In other words, what is the process that a personal injury lawyer takes to help prove that his or her client did not cause the accident?

By interactive 07 Nov, 2017

An accident of any kind, whether it involves a motor vehicle, or a slip-and-fall at the workplace can impact your life in ways you never expected, especially if you suffered serious injuries. And after this type of event occurs, the question often arises:

How long should you wait before you contact a legal advisor?

Most personal injury lawyers would answer with one word: immediately.

And that’s true, but what’s more important is for you to understand why contacting an attorney as quickly as possible can positively affect your legal claim.

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