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How is Liability Determined in an Accident?

How is Liability Determined in an Accident?

Under personal injury law, the burden of proof falls on the injured party—the plaintiff. It is up to you to show that someone else should be held accountable for the injuries you sustained. While this may seem like a difficult task, there are a few different things you should know about moving forward.

Proving liability is an essential part of your success in pursuing justice and compensation, but many individuals are unaware of which factors are involved.

There are four factors typically involved in proving liability and having a lawyer can help you throughout the process. These four factors also show the importance of gathering specific information after the car accident in order to get the most out of your case. Here are the four main factors of proving liability after a crash that you need to know.

Proving There Was a Duty of Care

The first thing considered when proving liability is whether the defendant had a duty of care to keep the plaintiff safe. While this may be more difficult for certain areas of personal injury law, in car accident cases, it can be an easier task.

In many situations, once someone has a driver’s license, he or she has a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in mind. They must follow all laws on the road and avoid driving recklessly.

After an accident, you should get the responsible driver’s license and take a picture of the information on the license. This can essentially prove that the driver had a duty of care to ensure the safety of all drivers on the road.

Proving There Was a Breach in the Duty of Care

Once you show that a duty of care existed between the defendant and you, the plaintiff, you must show that there was some action that would have breached this duty of care. Typically, this is considered any act of negligence or reckless driving that causes the accident to occur.

When breaking down the potential cause of the accident, keep in mind that a breach in the duty of care can involve any of the following:

  • Drinking and driving
  • Texting and driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Speeding
  • Running through traffic signals
  • Failing to maintain his/her vehicle

Breaching the duty of care allows for causation in the lawsuit and shows that a party was responsible in one way or another. However, in order to prove a personal injury matter, there are two other factors that must be determined.

Proving the Breach In the Duty of Care Led to the Collision

There are many causes of car accidents, including natural situations in which nobody may be held responsible. However, in personal injury law, for a case to be successful, it must be shown that the breach in the duty of care (the negligent action) was the direct cause of the crash.

Consider the following scenario: It’s a rainy day and a vehicle loses control. The result is a serious rear-end collision. If the rain was the sole factor in causing the crash, was there any breach in the duty of care or did the accident occur because of the conditions on the road?

There may be ways to show that there was still negligence involved if the driver wasn’t operating his or her vehicle in a manner considered safe for conditions. For instance, if the driver is speeding in the rain or driving too closely to you, that can be considered a breach in the duty of care which would create causation for the lawsuit.

However, if the car accident was the result of something outside of the defendant’s control, this can impact the claim and/or lawsuit.

Proving the Collision Resulted In the Injury

If you’re involved in an accident, but you suffer an injury in a separate incident, you cannot file a lawsuit against the party who caused the crash for the injury you sustained. You may be able to pursue property damages, but the lawsuit for the injury must be related to the actual cause of the injury.

As such, it makes it important to get medical help as soon as possible following the collision to receive proper diagnosis of any injury you may have sustained. Your doctor can attest to the cause of the injury and show whether or not it was directly related to the crash.

Once you have the four factors of proving liability in line, you can take action against the responsible party and pursue the outcome you need.

Get Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers On Your Side

With Kalka & Baer, you can have strong representation to help you with the evidence you need to prove liability. We have extensive experience helping injured parties pursue the compensation and justice they need to move forward following a serious injury.

Trust in our Atlanta car accident attorneys to guide you throughout the entire process. We know how insurance companies try to disprove the liability of their policyholders and we’ll protect you from the unscrupulous tactics they try to use. We’re ready to help you from start to finish with your best interests in mind.

Call our legal team today at (404) 907-1594 and speak with a dedicated lawyer about the rights and options you have. You’re in good hands with our experienced attorneys and it’ll show every step of the way.

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