Understanding Liability When You Have Been InjuredWhen you have filed a lawsuit for a personal injury from an accident your lawyer begins the work to obtain compensation for your injury.  One of the first things that needs to be done is determine who was at fault.  Since you are the one who has filed the lawsuit, the burden on proving who is at fault is yours.  In your case ‘liability’ means who is at fault legally for your injury.  Sometimes the liability is quite clear but sometimes it is a combination of factors that determine only partial liability.

The defendant will try to prove it is not their responsibility to pay damages for the accident.  You will try to prove that they should pay damages because of their carelessness.  To determine who is at fault, many things come into play.  They may try to prove that you were not supposed to be at the place where your injury occurred.  If you were in a location that was off limits without good reason or permission it may be that they did not have a duty to protect you from injury.  They may try to prove that you were careless in some way that caused you to become injured.  In this type of scenario your settlement may be reduced because you share the blame in the accident.

Good documentation with proof of any citations or witnesses can help to support the liability claim.  Especially in car accidents this is true.  With regards to accidents on commercial properties; if there have been complaints about hazards that were never addressed it is helpful to obtain that information to supply it as proof.   In general, the decision of who is at fault will depend on the facts of who was more careless at the time of the accident.  Sometimes there will be more than one person at fault, or a manufacturer of a product.  Determining who should pay your damages and at what percentage will be determined by the proof you and your lawyer provide to show the defendant had a duty to make sure you were safe.  Most states will award you compensation of some type even when you are partially at fault.  Understanding that it is not always a clear determination and keeping good documentation and collecting all the information you can about your accident and how it occurred will help to obtain the best outcome for your case.