If you have been injured in an accident, you may have many questions revolving around your potential case. This could range anywhere from where to turn next, to what negligence refers to. These frequent questions and answers about accident fault are now available at your fingertips, outlined below.
What is negligence? Negligence is the legal term used to describe any careless behavior that causes or contributes to an accident.
What are the elements of a negligence claim? The elements involved in a negligence claim include duty, breach, causation, and damages. Here is an outline of what is involved with each:
- Duty: Establish that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. In one example, a doctor will owe a patient a legal duty to provide him or her with competent medical care. The relationship involved between plaintiff and defendant can create the legal duty owed.
- Breach of Duty: It will be determined if the defendant breached the duty of care by doing or not doing something that a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances. This refers to a legal standard that represents how the average person would responsibly act given a certain situation.
- Causation: The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligence actually caused his or her injury. Another element looked at is whether the defendant could have reasonably foreseen that his or her actions might cause an injury.
- Damages: The court must be able to compensate the plaintiff for his or her injury, which is typically through monetary compensation for expenses such as medical care or property repairs.
What if more than one person is involved? In cases where there is more than one person responsible for an accident, the law in most states will say that any one of the careless parties is responsible for compensating you fully for your injuries. All responsible parties must decide amongst themselves whether one should reimburse the others.
How will my own carelessness affect my claim? If you were careless and partially caused your accident, in many states you can still get at least partial compensation from anyone else involved. The amount of the other person’s liability for the accident will be determined by comparing his or her carelessness with your own. The percentage of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages he or she will be responsible for paying.
What do I need to know about no fault laws and no-fault insurance? Some states have what are called “no fault” laws, where drivers are sometimes released from liability for causing bodily harm in an accident. No fault insurance policies may cover bodily injuries sustained by the insured regardless of who was at fault.
How can an attorney help my potential case? An experienced attorney will first be able to determine your claim’s chance for success. They will be able to instruct you on whether or not you should file a claim in the first place. Most cases tend to benefit greatly from the guidance of a lawyer, such as slip and falls and car accidents.
Call your attorney at MDL today to speak about your options and to get even more guidance on your claim. We will be able to answer any other questions you may have and guide you in the right direction.