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.
Apart from proving the duty of care and the breach of this duty of care, the burden of proof also falls on the plaintiff for showing that the injuries were indeed caused by the accident and that it was also the cause for the monetary damages. Proving the damages and injuries is done by gathering evidence and using the available medical bills and reports. In some cases, eyewitness reports may be used to prove fault.
We invite you to watch a video about proving fault and liablity:
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.
California uses a pure comparative negligence law: when both parties are at fault, the plaintiff may claim compensation even of he is 99% at fault. The court in California determines the percentage of fault for each party. Then, the court will deduct the determined percentage of the settlement amount. For example, if the settlement sought by the plaintiff is 100,000 $ and the court finds that he is 20 percent at fault, he will only receive 80,000 $.
This method does not apply in all US States. However, if you are injured while on a cruise in California, in a vehicle accident or in another type of situation, you can talk to a lawyer to see exactly how your case will be treated.
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.
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