The time following an accident can be difficult for injury victims. Between physical therapy appointments, checkups at the hospital, and adjusting to a new life, you may wonder what can be done to help remedy your situation.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation. If you or a loved one was seriously injured due to the negligence of another person or party, such as the government, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
What is Liability?
Liability is the concept of fault. “Liability is the legal term for legal and financial accountability for an accident and the related injuries and losses it causes,” note Atlanta injury lawyers from BMW Law Group, “if you hold someone liable for your injury, it means that person or party must pay for your medical bills and the other losses that you experienced because of the accident.”
When another person or party is deemed liable, they are deemed at fault and will be held financially accountable. In many cases, a person or party’s insurance company may come into play.
Typical Defendants in Personal Injury Cases
No two personal injuries cases are the same. This said, there are often common defendants in personal injury cases. Common defendants can be:
- Motor vehicle drivers
- Product manufacturers
- Medical professionals
- Property owners
- Animal owners
- State and local governments
Some personal injury cases may even include more than one defendant. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to hold the chain of production for a product, like a toy or food, accountable for your injuries.
Proving Someone was Liable
Proving liability is the foundation of personal injury claims. The plaintiff must prove four main elements in order to succeed in their personal injury case and recover damages:
- Duty: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a legal duty or obligation to them.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must prove the defendant failed to meet their legal duty or obligation.
- Causation: The plaintiff must prove negligence or intentional action on the defendant’s side was the cause of the plaintiff’s illness or injury.
- Damages: The plaintiff must prove damages were incurred as a result of the l defendant’s action or lack of action. Damages often include calculable losses, such as medical bills and time of work, and intangible losses, like pain and suffering.
In order to successfully prove these four elements, evidence, witness testimony, and expert testimony are commonplace. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you compile the necessary elements to successfully prove your injury case and maximize financial compensation.
Defenses to Personal Injury Claims
A defendant facing injury claims may employ defenses to significantly reduce or eliminate liability. Common defenses to personal injury claims can include:
- Comparative fault: Depending on state law, a defendant may use comparative fault as a defense, stating the plaintiff was also at fault or his or her injuries.
- Assumption of risk: The defendant may claim the plaintiff knew the risk of injury or illness and proceeded anyways.
- Respondeat superior: A defendant may use respondeat superior as a defense, meaning the defendant is not liable but instead his or her employer is liable.
Taking the First Step After an Injury
If you or a loved one suffered a serious illness or injury due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover financial compensation. The first step is to contact an experienced legal professional to schedule a free case evaluation. Depending on the circumstances of your unique case, you may be able to hold an employer, company, business, or individual liable for your injuries and secure compensation to help rebuild your life.