General Rules Of Proving Fault In A Personal Injury Accident

What are some of the general rules that should be followed to prove who is at fault in a personal injury accident?

personal injury accidentProving liability in an injury or an accident can be a complex process but it often comes down to one thing, who was careless? It’s easy to blame a company or a person for your injuries and to use all means to ensure they pay for their actions but before you get to that point, you must first determine who is legally responsible for the personal injury accident.

Determining Legal Responsibility

Most accidents are usually as a result of someone else’s carelessness. The general rule is, if you were involved in an accident in which one of you was less careful, the person found to be less careful would have to pay for at least a portion of the damages incurred by the person who was more careful.

Legal responsibility for almost all accidents is determined by this general rule of recklessness and also by one of the following propositions.

  1. If a defective product caused your personal injury accident, the seller and manufacturer would be held responsible even if you do not know which of the two was careless in allowing the defect to happen.
  2. If your personal injury was on dangerous property, which was poorly maintained or built, you can file a lawsuit against the owner of the property for being reckless in maintaining the property regardless of whether they intentionally made the property dangerous or not.
  3. If your injuries were caused by your own recklessness, then your compensation can be reduced in what is known as comparative negligence.
  4. If you were somewhere you were not supposed to be or you were somewhere where you expected the kind of activity that was responsible for your accident, then you cannot hold the person responsible for your injury liable because they had no “duty” to be careful towards you.

Where More Than One Person Is Responsible For Your Personal Injury Accident

When more than one party is responsible for your personal injury accident, only one person can be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. The law dictates that after one of them has fully compensated you, they must discuss among themselves who should reimburse the others.

This general rule has numerous advantages. First, if one of the responsible parties is insured and the others are not, you can claim full compensation from the insured party. In the event where all the responsible parties are insured, you can only pursue your settlement with one insurance company. After your accident, you should consider all the parties responsible for your accident. Notify all of them that you intend to sue for damages. Then, depending on which insurance company takes responsibility first or upon discovering how the accident happened, you can pursue a claim for damages against only one of them.

How Your Recklessness Affects Your Claim

If you were partly to blame for the accident due to your carelessness, you can still get compensation from the other person who was responsible for the accident. The degree to which the other person is responsible for the accident is determined by comparing their carelessness with yours. The percentage of responsibility established will determine the percentage of damages they must pay to you.

There is no particular formula that can be used to determine how much you are entitled to in damages. You can discuss with your insurance adjuster all the factors that contributed to the accident during claim negotiations. The question of how much of your carelessness contributed to the accident in addition to other factors such as medical bills, the seriousness of your injuries, etc., will determine how much your claim is worth.

Rhode Island State Restrictions On Recovering Compensation If You Were Reckless

Rhode Island is one of the few states where you can recover compensation even if you were 99% at fault. This is known as pure comparative negligence.

Hire A Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer

Each year, members of our community suffer from unfortunate personal injury accidents. Our law firm specializes only in personal injuries. We treat every case as a special case and we ensure that we do everything in our power to handle your case with dignity, integrity and utmost compassion.

To speak to a Providence personal injury lawyer, call our Providence, Rhode Island office today at 401-751-0101 for a free initial consultation.

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