Being involved in an accident caused by the negligence of another can be life-changing. Victims are not only left with physical injuries and property damage but also with mounting medical bills and, in many cases, the loss of their earning capacity.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is often their only option and when doing so, it's important that they have enough proof to back up their claim. However, navigating the intricacies of personal injury law is no easy task for those who do not have a legal background.
Fortunately, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is here to help. In this article, legal experts from the firm explain how they prove fault in cases of negligence and personal injury. They can also help with questions like What is gross negligence?
What Is "Fault?"
Before delving into the ways that an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston TX will prove fault, it's important to first understand the concept of fault.
To put it simply, "fault" is the legal term used to refer to the legal liability of an individual or entity for the injuries and damages that another person suffered because of their negligence, misconduct, or recklessness.
Proving fault is one of the most basic responsibilities in any Texas personal injury case, and unless it is established, the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit are very slim.
While determining fault might be easy in some cases, when there are multiple parties involved and comparative negligence in play, it becomes more challenging to establish who is to blame.
The Different Types of Fault
There are different types of fault that may apply in a personal injury lawsuit. They are as follows:
Undoubtedly, the most prevalent ground for determining fault in injury-related cases is negligence. This legal concept refers to a defendant's failure to exercise reasonable care, which causes injury to another person.
To establish negligence, plaintiffs must demonstrate four elements:
Duty of Care. That the at-fault person owed them a duty of care or behaved in a way that any reasonable person would in the same situation.
Breach of Duty. He or she violated that responsibility.
Causation. This breach resulted in harm as a direct consequence of the breach of care.
Damages. The plaintiff suffered real damages as a direct result of the defendant's actions.
Gross Negligence or Recklessness
This is why the defendant's actions go well beyond negligence. This type of fault involves an intentional disregard for the safety of others. It denotes a reckless disregard for the predictable effects of one's conduct. Evidence that the at-fault party knew or should have known that their behavior constituted a considerable risk of injury is frequently required to establish recklessness.
In some circumstances, personal injury accidents are the consequence of purposeful misconduct, in which the at-fault party engages in harmful action on purpose. This includes assault, battery, and other deliberate acts that cause bodily harm. To prove purposeful wrongdoing, the at-fault party must show that they intended to inflict injury.
Understanding Comparative Fault
The legal theory of comparative fault is applied in several jurisdictions. Comparative fault recognizes that multiple parties may share liability for an accident. Plaintiffs in states with pure comparative fault are still entitled to compensation if they are partly to blame for the accident. However, the amount that they receive will be reduced, depending on the degree of fault.
Types of Evidence That Can Be Used to Prove Fault
When proving fault in a car accident, medical malpractice, or premises liability cases, it's important to provide sufficient evidence. Here are a few types of evidence that can be used to prove a personal injury claim:
Video Footage and Photographs
At the scene of an accident, it's important for victims to gather as much evidence as they can, which can later be used to prove liability. Images of skid marks, traffic signals, damaged cars, and injuries could be crucial in backing up personal injury lawsuits.
Statements from people who witnessed car accidents firsthand can also be pivotal in proving who was at fault.
In some cases, experts can be called upon to offer insight into certain elements of the case. When proving that the pain suffered by the injured person was the result of the accident, a medical expert can be called in.
If a victim contacts law enforcement after an accident, a police report is drawn up. This document can provide crucial information and help to prove who was at fault.
The Role of Insurance Companies in a Personal Injury Claim
The truth is that the insurance company of the person who is to blame for the accident is a key player in the claims process.
Insurance adjusters will evaluate the proof provided and negotiate settlements on the at-fault party's behalf. Plaintiffs should be aware that insurance companies frequently seek to reduce settlements by disputing culpability or misrepresenting the victim's injuries.
It's important to proceed with caution when dealing with insurance providers and consider speaking with an attorney who handles personal injury cases to ensure their legal rights are protected. They can advise on questions such as What does personal injury protection cover in Texas?
Why It's Important to Get Legal Assistance When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
While many personal injury claims are settled or handled through negotiations, other cases may go to court.
In a court of law, making a compelling case for establishing fault becomes much more important. Personal injury lawyers play an important role in creating and presenting these claims, relying on their legal expertise in order to navigate the legal system's intricacies.
The burden of proof will be on the plaintiff, who must persuade a judge or jury that the conduct of the defendant fulfills the legal standards for fault. This includes providing sufficient evidence, questioning witnesses, and successfully opposing any defense claims.
Scherguer Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Is Here to Help
Proving fault in an injury-related case is a complex procedure that demands a thorough understanding of applicable legal doctrines.
Those navigating the aftermath of an injury can considerably improve their case in the quest for fair compensation by equipping themselves with information about the different types of fault, accumulating compelling evidence, and consulting an expert legal advisor.
While proving liability might be difficult, the possible advantages of receiving fair compensation for healthcare expenses, lost wages, and more can be life-changing. Seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney can be extremely beneficial during this process.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can provide the right advice and guidance to help victims reclaim their lives. The firm offers free consultations to injured parties, who can obtain advice from a legal expert at no cost.