Issue Of Fault – Louisville
Author: Benjamin Roussey
One of the critical elements that must be proven by your Kentucky personal injury lawyer is the “fault of the defendant” – Whether the injury occurred due to an auto accident, slip or fall, medical malpractice or accident at the workplace, it is usually not so easy to prove the fault of the other party.
In a majority of accidents, chances are that at least one party will be liable for injuries. Personal injury law applies a simple principle to determine liability. If one of the persons involved in the accident was less careful than the other, then such person must usually pay for the damages and injuries suffered by the more one who was more careful.
Furthermore, claims personal injury lawyer Andrew Alitowski, that in order for a liability to exist towards the injured party, there must be the existence of a duty between the two parties. For instance, if the injured person was present at a place inappropriately and was sufficiently aware not to be present there, in such case the other party may not be held liable because he or she did not have any duty to care for the injured person’s safety.
Other Factors Affecting Liability
When the victim of injury was partly responsible for the accident, then the damages compensation may be reduced by such amount which is equivalent to his or her contribution to the accident. If a person causes injury to another out of negligence, while in employment of a third party, the employer may also be held liable for the personal injuries caused to the victim.
If a personal injury is sustained on another’s property that is ill-maintained or dangerous, the property owner may be liable for not keeping the property in safe condition, which led to the accident. Similarly, if a personal injury is caused due to a defective or poorly manufactured product, the producer and seller of such a product may be held liable for the injuries caused. An extensive list of factors that establish liability in injury cases write or call:
Moore Professional, 332 W. Broadway Suite 613, Louisville, KY 40202
Multiple Parties at Fault
Where more than a single person is at fault for causing a personal injury to the victim, it may improve the chances of the victim in recovering damages according to the injury lawyers at Moore Professional. If it can be proved that multiple parties caused the injuries to the victim, in most states all the negligent parties will be held liable for the entirety of the victim’s injuries. In such a situation, the parties at fault must determine between themselves how to divide the damages.
The victim gains the advantage in such a situation to choose from whom he or she may collect the damages. For instance, if a pedestrian is hit by multiple car drivers at the same time, he or she may choose the driver that is fully insured. The victim will receive compensation from that insurer, and it will be left to the insurer how it may recover the costs from the other car drivers.
Issue of Fault in Car Accident Cases
The concept of fault is fairly simple; through mistake or otherwise, someone or something is usually to blame for every automobile accident. For personal injury attorneys the legal issue in determining fault in most accidents is deciding whose negligent driving caused the accident. The basic premise of the fault system is that the person or people whose negligence caused the accident are legally responsible (insurance companies and lawyers use the term “liable”) for the resulting damages.
In the early stages of the claims process, it is usually the insurance claims adjuster or representative (claims rep) who tries to determine who is at fault (and thus liable for damages) based on the police report, the statements of those involved in the accident, and witnesses to the accident. If personal injury attorneys represent the accident victim from the onset, the attorneys for each side continue with more detailed investigations and negotiations to determine fault and thus who will be liable for damages. Ultimately, if the attorneys cannot settle on who is legally responsible and for how much, a judge and/or a jury makes the determination as the result of a formal personal injury lawsuit.
Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyers
The legal concept of fault is a bit more complicated than that the average person believes and to make matters worse, each state has its own detailed standards for fault and for calculating the monetary liability resulting from auto accidents. A complete understanding of the governing personal injury law in the state where an accident occurred is crucial in competently seeking a maximum award for an injured party. Injury lawyers know full well that monetary and legal responsibility are at issue in any accident case regardless of whether that automobile accident resulted in injury or not.
However, there is an important twist to the legal concept of fault that all personal injury lawyers must be familiar with. In the fault system, economic responsibility for damage costs rest on the person who caused the accident. But sometimes both drivers’ negligence contributes, in varying degrees, to the accident and thus fault is not clear-cut. In these situations, the goal is to divide or apportion damage costs according to the degree of fault. As you can imagine, this is not necessarily an easy task, especially when a good deal of money is at stake. In complicated cases, when personal injury attorneys and insurance companies point their fingers in blame, depending on which state they are in, they use the terms contributory and comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence. Most states use the rule of comparative negligence in apportioning damages. Under this system, your damage claim is reduced by the amount you are found to be at fault. For example, if your actions were found to contribute 40% to the cause of the accident, then you would only be entitled to 60% of your full damage claim. The variations on this rule are many, but most importantly, in some states, if you are greater than 50% at fault you cannot recover against another driver’s liability coverage at all.
Contributory negligence. The old and somewhat brutal contributory negligence rules are still followed in some states. Under this system, if your negligent actions contributed to the accident in any way, even minimally, you cannot recover damages under another driver’s liability coverage.