Determination of fault in a personal injury case


It’s best to consider everyone you think may be responsible and let those people know that you plan to file a claim for damages.

Determining legal liability for an injury or accident can be complicated in some cases. Usually the fault lies with the person or entity that was negligent in the matter. It’s easy to say that whoever caused the accident should pay for the damages, but there are some factors to consider in determining who is at fault from a legal standpoint.

Determination of legal responsibility

Most accidents are due to someone’s negligence. Basically, if a person involved in the accident was not as careful as the other party, the less careful person must pay at least part of the damages suffered by the more careful one. This is called the duty of care. the legal responsibility for almost all accidents are determined by this principle with one or more of these propositions:

  • If the victim was in a place where they were not supposed to be or in a place where the activity that led to the accident should have been foreseen, the person/entity that caused the accident can not be fully liable since she had no duty of care to the injured individual.
  • If the victim were also negligent, their compensation would likely be reduced to the extent of the liable party’s negligence. This is called comparative negligence.
  • If the negligent person causes an accident while working for someone else, the employer could be held responsible for the accident. Similarly, suppose an accident occurs on a property that is potentially dangerous because it is poorly maintained or poorly constructed. In this case, the owner could be held liable for negligence even though he did not create the unsafe conditions.
  • If a defective product caused the accident, both the seller and the manufacturer are responsible, even if the victim does not know which was negligent.

How Your Negligence May Affect Your Claim

Even if your reckless actions partially caused your injury or accident, you will still be able to get partial compensation in most states. Compensation will come from the other people involved in the accident and will be awarded according to your degree of fault. Your attorney will explain comparative negligence in detail so you know what to expect from your settlement. You will also need to have a clear understanding of your degree of responsibility for the accident so that you can quickly pay any amounts you owe to other injured parties.

Get in touch with a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer if you had an accident in Maryland and need to determine fault. The idea here is to hire an attorney in your state. They are fully aware of the applicable laws and can better assist you as they have access to precedents and local experts who could testify on your behalf. The attorney will review the details of your case, including when and where the accident took place, to establish who is at fault. It’s best to have a lawyer on your side to negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement. If you have to take your case to court, having an attorney can increase your chances of winning your settlement.

When several people are responsible

Statue of Lady Justice; image by William Cho, via

When more than one person is responsible for an accident, such as when multiple drivers cause a collision, the law in most states dictates that all responsible parties must compensate the victims for their injuries. The taxpayers must determine among themselves whether they should repay each other.

Several benefits come with collecting compensation from any responsible party in an accident. If one responsible person is insured and the other is uninsured, the victim can make a claim against the insured person for the full amount. If both parties are insured, you will have to settle the claim with a single insurance company.

It’s best to consider everyone you think may be responsible and let those people know that you plan to file a claim for damages. Then, depending on how the accident happened or which insurance company is at fault, you will be allowed to pursue your personal injury claim against only one insurer.


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