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Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Case

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2014 | Blog, personal injury

In the legal realm, personal injury is defined as an injury that occurs as a result of someone’s failure to use reasonable care. What constitutes “reasonable care” is determined on a case-by-case basis. A person may be liable in a personal injury action if he or she has either acted in a negligent way or behaved recklessly. The injury should be caused by something that could be foreseen as a result of the actions of the person accused. Some defenses against a personal injury suit includes a claim that there were intervening causes, a pre-existing condition, or an assumption of risk on the part of the person the injury happened to. When one is involved in a personal injury case, as a result of an auto accident, for instance, one of the most important tasks is to prove who is at fault. It is important to remember that an auto accident happens when someone is less careful than the other. The general rule of thumb is that the less careful party in the accident must pay damages to the party that was more careful. Who is at fault in an auto accident is usually determined in a police report. It should answer a number of questions about the person who is at fault. Was the person driving recklessly, running a stop sign or a stop light, engaged in distracted driving (i.e. driving while texting or engaged in some other activity), or exceeding the speed limit? Was the person driving while impaired, for example while under the influence of alcohol? Was there something else about the person’s behavior behind the wheel that contributed to the accident? Things get a little thornier when it is determined that more than one party to the accident is found to have been driving carelessly. Usually the driver who is most at fault will be liable for damages. However, the extent by which the injured driver is found to have been negligent can determine the amount of damages he or she is rewarded. A judge or jury can assign a percentage of fault to each of the parties of an accident. Thus, if the injured party is found to be 10 percent liable, then his or her damages can be reduced by that amount. However, there is no set formula for determining that percentage. It can rest solely with the discretion of a court, which is why the experience and acumen of a qualified attorney are paramount to obtaining adequate compensation for your injuries. Allow our accomplished Lakeland attorneys take care of your personal injury claim today.