During a personal injury lawsuit, the ultimate determination of who will be paying for what, and if the lawsuit is a valid one depends on who is and how fault is determined in a personal injury lawsuit. Determining fault in any accident, and the connected liability of the accident, is often figured out based on the level of carelessness involved. This holds true for all personal injury lawsuits whether they are slip and fall accidents, product liability, medical malpractice or vehicle accident lawsuits. While each of these types of lawsuits are very different, they all need to have it determined who is at fault. The individual situations are unique and the process of determining fault can be unique, too, and may require different methods of figuring out who is at fault.
The Investigation Process
Every personal injury lawsuit requires an in depth investigation of every party involved. Parts of these investigations are done by the police, others by your lawyers, and yet others by your insurance company.
The following is involved in the investigation process:
• Collecting evidence. This evidence collecting includes getting police reports, collecting medical information and gathering statements from the individuals involved as well as any witnesses. Other relevant documents or reports may also be collected.
• All involved parties are interviewed. Sometimes they are interviewed more than once.
• Related experts may be consulted and some may be hired for an extended term during the investigation and the lawsuit itself.
The Process of Proving Fault
After the investigation is completed, fault can be proven. There are different types of fault. When fault has been determined, lawyers will move on with the lawsuit and make sure the correct party is found liable for the accident and injury. Here is a look at the different methods of finding liability.
Prove Negligence: A person guilty of negligence means that they had an obligation that they did not follow through. For example, a business is required to make sure that patrons are aware of the hazards of a wet floor or falling debris during any type of maintenance or construction.
Intentional Conduct: It needs to be determined if the person did something intentionally and the process is called establishing intentional conduct. This means figuring out that someone’s conduct has a certainty of consequences. A person who punches another without provocation is an example of intentional conduct.
Show Liability of Standard of Proof: This is legalese meaning the process of showing the plaintiff suffered an injury that was foreseeable while involved in the situation that caused the injury. In other words, was the situation one in which the outcomes were common? Dangerous activities often have a common and predictable outcome. If someone put the plaintiff is a situation where the dangerous activity had a reasonable chance of having an outcome of injury, then liability of standard of proof has been reached.
What Happens After Fault Has Been Reached
After the type of fault has been determined, then it needs to be figured out the level of fault. A person can be fully or partially responsible for an injury, and this will affect how much money they may need to pay or be responsible for paying back in a lawsuit.