Whether a car crash or medical misconduct, accidents that result in an injury are often the result of another party’s negligence. Negligence is defined as a person’s breach of a duty of care, i.e., failure to act reasonably under given circumstances that expose other people to injury, loss, or damage.
Even when no party is at fault, someone needs to be held accountable for the damages and injuries caused because proving fault is an essential step in recovering your damages. It’s even more critical to disprove your fault and avoid paying the other party’s damages.
By the end of this article, you’ll be familiar with ways to clear yourself of any liability and get maximum compensation.
How To Prove Fault In A Personal Injury Case
Most defendants will have an insurance company behind them. The costs of their negligence fall onto the company, which then tries to minimize them for their own benefit. That’s why proving someone’s fault and getting your deserved compensation can be tricky without proper legal support. However, even without a personal injury attorney, you should be familiar with the requirements necessary for an injury claim:
1. Proving the Defendant Owes a Duty of Care to the Plaintiff
For a case to be valid, you must show that the sued party had a duty of care towards you in the first place. In case of car accidents, the duty of care falls on all road users, from truck drivers to pedestrians. For example, as a non-emergency vehicle driver, your responsibility is to move out of the way of a fire truck or ambulance as they have the right-of-way in the majority of states.
2. Proving the Defendant Breached the Duty of Care
Once you establish that there was a duty of care, you need evidence to show that the defendant didn’t act in good faith. This is when hiring a good personal liability lawyer is beneficial. They’ll help you gather the necessary evidence, compile medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, and prepare your claim to send to the insurance carrier.
3. Proving Damages
Proving damages refers to collecting evidence that your injuries are directly caused by the defendant’s negligence, documenting your injuries, reporting the details of the accident to a police officer, and getting medical treatment. Physical evidence, photos, and videos of the scene and your injuries are irrefutable evidence. Testimonies from witnesses are also valuable for your claim.
Additionally, don’t refuse medical help at the scene even if you feel fine. Go to all subsequent treatments and systematically follow your doctor’s advice. If you miss any appointments, the defendant’s insurance company might take it as a sign that your injuries are less severe than you stated and reduce the compensation.
If you’ve missed any work during the time you were recovering from the injury, you should also include your employment records.
How To Disprove Fault In A Personal Injury Case
If it isn’t clear who is guilty and the fault starts shifting to your disadvantage, you must ensure that you have strong evidence of your innocence and proof of the other party’s negligence. If the percentage of both parties’ fault is 50%, no settlement will be reached. But some states allow the victim to claim damages if the percentage of the other party’s fault is as low as 51%. Thus, you just need to obtain that 1%.
Steps to disproving your liability are similar to the actions you should take to prove someone else’s liability. You need to gather evidence, witness statements, police reports, etc. However, you can also claim that the other side failed to mitigate damages. Mitigating damages refers to taking preventive measures after the accident. If the other party refused medical help or underwent surgery which resulted in a worse injury, you can label it as a failure to mitigate damages.
You could also claim that there was an assumption of risk, i.e., that the other side was aware of the possible consequences of their actions but still went through with it. There are many such loopholes you can find with a reliable personal injury attorney.
Get The Compensation You Deserve
In 2021, 62 million people in the U.S. sought medical attention for injuries, which is around one in every five Americans. A personal injury case can significantly impair the quality of a person’s life. From injuries sustained in car accidents to those resulting from slip-and-fall, physical, mental, and financial suffering can be devastating.
On top of your own dilemmas, you might be sued by the other injured party despite it not being your fault. Hence, it’s crucial to learn how to deal with these situations and know where to seek proper help.
Arnab Dey is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.