Determining The Damages And Faults In Personal Injury Cases


It is difficult for a victim to recover damages in a personal injury case unless the fault is shown beyond doubt. That’s why it takes an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight your case successfully. In other words, the opposite party's negligence has to be proved, especially in cases where it is not apparent who is at fault. 

Fault In Car Accidents 

Some states have made it easier for the victims as they have a no-fault insurance system in place. In the states that don't have it, the two respective drivers of the vehicles involved in the accident have to pursue their compensation claim independently, regardless of who is at fault. Hence, most insurance companies in no- fault states would rather pay up instead of going into tediously protracted litigation. 

It is a different story in fault-based insurance systems, where the driver at-fault or their insurance company has to compensate the victim for damages. The other driver and their lawyer will contest the claim, leading to a dispute that has to be settled in court. 

There are three options in case of an accident in a fault-based state: 

✔ File a compensation claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company 
✔ File a compensation with your (victim) insurance company 
✔ File a lawsuit against the driver committing the offense 

At-Fault Driver Without Insurance Coverage 

There are instances where the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage; however, you can still claim with your insurance company, provided you’ve purchased uninsured motorist insurance coverage. 

Another advantage of this type of insurance is that even if the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance coverage, you can still claim with your insurance company, again, provided you’ve been smart enough to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. Such specific insurance coverage is optional in some states. 

If you still think you need the services of a personal injury lawyer, make sure you go to an experienced one with a track record. 

Who’s At Fault? 

That’s what most heated arguments are always about, soon after an accident. It is common knowledge that 94 percent of accidents happen due to driver error or negligence. Occasionally, the cause of a road accident may be attributed to some road hazard like: 

● Potholes in the middle of the road 
● Debris dumped on the road 
● Obstructed signs 
● Bad lighting 
● No warning signs at appropriate spots 

If you get involved in a crash due to any such road hazards (even partly), the driver may not be liable. However, the public works department or a related public entity should be held responsible and accountable. 

Comparative Fault 

In some cases, both the drivers may be at fault, though not necessarily equally. There is something known as the pure comparative fault theory, where the recovery will depend on the litigant’s degree of fault and can be reduced proportionately. 

The percentage of reduction varies from case to case. However, the fault is established, taking into consideration the other driver’s fault as well. 

There are three ways of establishing the negligence of a party: 

● The other driver neglected their responsibility by not driving carefully enough, flouting traffic rules. 
● The other driver breached that responsibility or duty by disobeying traffic law. 
● You, as the victim, were injured because of such negligence that caused the accident. 

Summing It Up 

Sustaining injuries in car accidents are common, though getting suitable claim compensation is a different matter. It is something that can only be handled by an experienced lawyer specializing in injury claim cases.

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