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Home / Articles / Columnists / Legal Advice /  Determining Legal Liability in Accident Cases
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Friday, October 4,2013

Determining Legal Liability in Accident Cases

By David Shiner  

Many individuals who sustain injuries during motor vehicle or other types of accidents often wonder who can be held responsible for things such as their medical bills and lost wages. The mere occurrence of an accident can be a traumatic experience for an individual; however, when you factor in the overall costs associated with accidents, I warn my clients that the end result can be financially and emotionally draining. That said, it is imperative for accident victims to determine who can be held legally responsible as quickly as possible.

What Happens if More Than One Person is at Fault?

The facts of some accident cases are so straightforward that it is fairly easy to determine who can be held liable for a victim’s injuries. However, there are many circumstances in which more than one individual might be at fault for the injuries sustained. For example, in accidents that involve trucks, both the truck driver and the truck owner (assuming they are different people and/or entities) might be held legally responsible depending on the facts of the case. Accordingly, a lawyer would need to review the circumstances and make a determination with respect to all potential parties.

Negligence

In many personal injury cases, being able to demonstrate that another person or entity acted carelessly or negligently in causing an individual’s injuries is a crucial aspect of the case. In order to collect monetary compensation after sustaining an injury, the victim will need to show that the accused individual had a duty to ensure that the victim did not get hurt, that the accused individual’s failure to satisfactorily perform his or her duty was what caused the victim’s injuries and that the victim did, in fact, sustain injuries and/or damages.

Please note that in Florida, the personal injury laws with respect to auto accidents differ a little bit in that the state is considered to be a “no-fault” state. What this means for accident victims is that a person’s insurance coverage will pay up to a certain amount for damages and injuries incurred, regardless of who was at fault. Still if the injuries incurred were very serious, an accident victim might still be able to obtain additional monetary compensation above and beyond the state’s insurance coverage requirements.

A Few Things That a Victim Can Do to Help Determine Liability in Personal Injury Cases

One of the most important things for an accident victim to do as soon as possible is to ensure that all possible evidence is preserved. For instance, in car accident cases, it is important for victims to write down everything they can recall about the accident and how the injuries were incurred. Additionally, victims should always report the incident to the appropriate authorities and call a skilled personal injury attorney right away.

 

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