While accidents are always bound to happen, some instances result in serious injuries or life-altering consequences. If you were harmed because someone else was careless, you may be wondering if you have a right to file a claim against the other party. How can you determine legal liability and file a personal injury claim against another person? Here is what you need to know.
What Is Legal Liability?
If someone else’s carelessness injured you, you have to prove that he or she had a legal obligation to you. For example, if you are in a vehicle and another car strikes you, he or she has the legal responsibility to drive safely so as not to put other drivers in danger. Likewise, if you hurt yourself on someone’s property or slip on a grocery store floor, then the property owner may be liable.
When it comes to legal liability, the person has to owe you a duty. For instance, if you were to trespass and injure yourself on someone’s property, he or she would not be liable because you were not supposed to be there in the first place.
In addition to a legal obligation, the person had to act carelessly or negligently to cause the accident. Then, you also have to prove damages. For example, say that you slipped on a floor in a grocery store but had no injuries. In this case, while the store owner or employees were negligent, they did not cause you any harm. However, if you were to be seriously injured, you could have a case.
Can You Be at Fault?
Sometimes an accident becomes the fault of more than one person. One of the best examples is a car accident. In a car accident, if two drivers act carelessly, there is a chance that they could be in an accident together. If you were careless, can you still demand compensation from the other person? Every state has its own rules regarding fault. In most states, you would have to compare each person’s behavior. If you are at fault, you cannot ask for the full amount of compensation. Instead, you would demand a percentage based on your percentage of fault in the case. This is known as comparative negligence.
Before you file a personal injury claim, set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer such as Saavedra Law Firm, PLC. He or she can answer any questions you have about the process and help you determine whether you have a case against the other party.