Fault and Liability in a Personal Injury CaseUpdated on Saturday 25th February 2017
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Proving fault and liability in a personal injury case is very important for the outcome of the lawsuit. In most cases, the liability of one or even both parties is based on proving negligence. The fault is established according to the actions of the individuals involved in the accident and the degree to which they contributed to causing it.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you if you need to prove liability or negligence. The plaintiff can use various methods and evidence for making a strong case and the help of a lawyer can be very important during the negotiation process for obtaining compensations or later during the trial phase.
Proving fault in a personal injury case
When the fault is based on negligence, the plaintiff needs to prove the involvement of the other party and the degree to which his negligent actions caused the accident and produced the injuries.
Negligence is easiest to prove if the defendant clearly violated certain laws or if he/she can be accused of gross negligence (reckless actions). Proving negligence is based on the breach of a duty of care which is the moral obligation to avoid hurting other individuals or placing them in front of danger. When this duty was breached by an individual employed to do so, the case can involve negligent supervision, like in the case of personal injuries in nursing homes.
Liability for injuries
The party that was negligent and caused the accident is usually liable for paying compensations. However, in some cases, the fault can be shared and both parties are liable for the outcome of the accident.
Shared liability cases can be based on contributory negligence: if the injured party has contributed to his/her own injury, the compensations are reduced or canceled altogether. Another possibility for shared fault is comparative negligence, in which an assessment is made to determine the degree of fault that can be attributed to the parties involved in an accident. This is common in vehicle accidents when both drivers were negligent.
Liability is established by default in cases involving dog bites or those that took place on private property. The owner of a dog that injured an individual has strict liability for the actions of his or her pet. Likewise, if an accident like a slip or fall took place on private residential or commercial property, then the owner can face liability for the injuries because the property was not in a safe condition.
You can contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys for more information about the laws in the state of California and the steps you can take in a personal injury case.