Personal Injury Fault
Personal injury isn’t always as black and white as you might think. In order to receive compensation from the other party, fault must be determined. If you are at fault for the accident in which you were injured, you may not have a claim against the other party. The following are a few general factors used to help determine fault.
When two people are involved in some type of accident, it’s sometimes very obvious who the careless party was. For example, if a pedestrian was waiting to cross the street until the “walk” signal came on, and someone drove through a red light and hit the individual in the crosswalk, it would be obvious that the driver of the car was careless and liable for damages.
If you were the driver in that situation and there was another factor at play, be sure to make that known. For example, if your car had a malfunction that caused your brakes to go out, fault could fall on the auto manufacturer.
In some cases, the negligent party is working for another individual, so the employer would be held responsible for the accident. For example, an employer might have knowledge that his or her forklift has been malfunctioning, but could require an employee to use it anyway. When that forklift goes out of control and injures another employee, the employer could be liable.
Poorly Maintained Property
Landowners are responsible for maintaining their property to a certain degree. Even if the accident wasn’t a direct result of an action taken by the landowner, it could be considered negligence if the owner didn’t handle a naturally-occurring problem. For example, if a storm caused large tree branches to break and hang from a tree and the owner didn’t clear the broken branches away, they could fall on someone walking underneath. The owner would then be considered negligent and liable for not removing the dangerous branches.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
If someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, fault could be placed on the injured individual. For example, if a worksite had “caution” tape and other cautionary signage displayed, it would be obvious that the area was off-limits. If someone ignored the cautions, walked onto the worksite and fell down a hole, he or she would typically be responsible for his or her own injuries.
You deserve assistance when you are injured. To learn more about personal injury and how fault is determined, contact a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, MN.
Thanks to Johnston & Martineau, PLLP for their insight into the factors that help determine fault in a personal injury.