How Do You Determine Fault in an Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, such as a slip and fall, motor vehicle crash, or an accident involving a defective product, one of the most crucial elements of your personal injury claim is proving fault for the accident. Determining fault, and consequently, liability for the accident can be challenging but usually rests on whether an individual or entity was negligent or careless. Remember, before you can prove liability for your damages, you should first figure out who caused the accident.
What Exactly is Negligence?
Personal injury claims are based on negligence, which is a legal theory that enables injured individuals to recover financial compensation for the part that caused their injuries.
An at-fault party that acted negligently means that they did not take reasonable steps to prevent injury and protect other people. While they did not necessarily intend to cause harm or endanger others, their negligent actions resulted in the accident that caused your injuries and related damages.
In a motor vehicle accident, for instance, a driver could have caused an accident due to their:
- Failure to stay alert and focus on driving
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Failure to maintain their vehicle regularly
- Failure to stay in control of their vehicle
In a slip and fall accident, if you were injured on someone else’s property that is considered dangerous because it’s poorly maintained, the property owner can be held liable for failing to maintain their property, regardless of whether they created the hazardous condition.
Likewise, if you were injured because of a defective product, you may hold the product seller and/or manufacturer liable for your injuries, even if you don't know which party was negligent in allowing or creating the defect or how the defect occurred.
What Evidence is Needed to Prove Fault for an Accident?
Ideally, you must start collecting evidence to support your case immediately after the accident. If you were injured in a car crash, for example, the following pieces of evidence can help prove fault for the accident:
- The accident report: The report must ideally include all the details about the crash and who caused the accident through the responding officer’s preliminary investigation.
- Witness testimonies: These include statements from anyone who witness the car crash.
- Photographs and videos: These can come from you or other witnesses’ phones or cameras, including dash cams on other vehicles and surveillance video from nearby businesses.
- Your medical records: These will show the severity and nature of the injuries you suffered from the crash.
A skilled Suwanee personal injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process, investigate the crash, gather and review evidence to prove fault and liability for your damages, and ensure that you get compensated fairly.
Speak to an Experienced Suwanee Personal Injury Lawyer Today
To find out more about what our Suwanee personal injury lawyers can do for your case, reach out to Banks, Stubbs & McFarland LLP today. Call 770.887.1209 today or contact us online to set up a free case evaluation with one of our Suwanee personal injury lawyers.