In the personal injury context, determining liability is essential to bringing a strong claim against the at-fault parties. If the victim cannot show fault, he or she is unlikely to prevail with a successful claim. This is because the defendants are likely to move to dismiss the case for lack of proof that they caused any harm. Read on to take a closer look at determining legal liability.

Liability words

Assigning Blame

The first step in determining legal liability for a negligence claim is to determine who was at fault for the accident. This is usually an easy process in cases where a drunk driver collided with a sober passenger who was following all the rules of the road. However, the process becomes complex if one driver’s car malfunctions due to a defective part, and he or she collides with another vehicle or intimate object. In this situation, the injured party may have the right to file a claim against the company that manufactured the defective part as well as the driver of the vehicle that caused the collision. Speak to a local personal injury attorney if you suspect that more than one party was to blame.

Assessing Comparative Fault

If you were partly to blame for the accident that occurred, the legal analysis becomes slightly more complex. If you live in a state that allows comparative negligence/comparative fault, the jury may have to determine which party caused which percentage of the accident. These allocations can then be used to determine damages. For instance, if you were 5% at fault, the other driver was 50%, and the local municipality was 45% liable due to bad road maintenance, you may be able to recover 50% of the eventual damages from the driver’s insurance and 45% of the damages from the city or state.

Negligence determinations are rarely cut and dried, which is why the office of Sussman & Simcox: Attorneys at Law helps clients clarify fault and compile proper evidence before filing a personal injury claim. If you live Maryland, call (301) 840-0404 to schedule a free initial consultation with our team.

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