Personal injury accidents are traumatic enough. Then you have to hire a good personal injury lawyer to help you draft a solid case or claim and to prove who was at fault. After all, your personal injury case or claim will be useless if you can’t prove that the defendant was at fault! But this is generally easier said than done (your personal injury lawyer) will tell you this.
How to determine legal liability?
Personal injury lawyers in Kitchener know that the majority of accidents are caused by careless actions. Establishing guilt in personal injury cases or claims hinges on the following premise: the person who was most careless in the personal injury accident is the guilty party. It’s up to him or her to pay part or all of the settlement to the plaintiff. Other propositions determine legal liability in personal injury accidents:
● Legal liability may not exist if the injured person was in a place where he or she should not have been. This is also true if the injured person was in a place where the types of injuries that he or she sustained are to be expected.
● The comparative negligence rule applies if the injured person was also found to be negligent. In this instance, his or her settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault that he or she was found to be at.
● If the defendant caused the accident while at work, the employer may also be found guilty.
● The owner of a piece of property can be found guilty if he or she doesn’t maintain or repair the property regularly and this results in the property being dangerous for human habitation.
● If the person was injured because of a defective product. In this instance, both the entity that manufactured and the entity that sold the product are deemed to be guilty.
What happens when more than one person is at fault?
Suppose you are involved in a car accident that involved more than one person and are injured. According to personal injury law, at least one of the people who caused the accident is responsible for paying your settlement. In most cases, the responsible people will divide the settlement payment among themselves and pay you the portion of the payment that they owe you. Just remember that you can collect the settlement from only one insurance company.
How does your carelessness affect your claim?
The comparative negligence rule applies in this instance. Your portion of the settlement will be affected by the percentage of fault that you share in the personal injury accident. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and were found to be 25% at fault, your $1,000,000 settlement would be reduced by 25%. You’d only be receiving $750,000 in settlement money.
Since there is no formula for determining the percentage of your fault, you, your personal injury lawyer, and the insurance adjuster will have to sit down and discuss all factors that contributed to the accident including your carelessness. The percentage is then determined by analyzing these factors.
There are limits if you’re somewhat at fault in the amount of settlement you’ll get. Generally, your final settlement is reduced by your percentage of fault. However, sometimes, you’ll be barred from even obtaining a settlement if your percentage of fault was more than 50%. This is referred to as the contributory negligence rule.