What are the General Rules for Proving Fault in Personal Injury Accidents?

The general rules for proving fault in a personal injury accident differ in different states. You should be aware that while many states have similar requirements for this, each state has its own unique set of laws pertaining to personal injury accidents and claims. It is important that you understand and are educated in the laws of your state or the state in which your accident occurred. Many people recommend seeking counsel from a lawyer who is licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your injury accident occurred, to help you to determine what needs to be done to prove that your injury is someone else’s fault.

What is a personal injury accident?

Typically, the term personal injury accident refers to an accident where someone was injured because of someone else’s negligence, malice or reckless behavior. A personal injury accident can be caused by someone who was (supposedly) trying to help the person they injured, someone who was intentionally trying to harm the person they injured, or someone who was oblivious to the person who wound up getting injured by their actions or in many cases, the negligent person’s inactions.

Are there different areas of law for personal injury accidents?

There are different areas of law that pertain to different kinds of personal injury accidents. For example, if you get hurt on someone else’s private or public property, your personal injury claim may fall under premise liability laws. If you get hurt because of a doctor or hospital’s negligence, there is a good chance that your personal injury claim will fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice. If your injuries were caused by a vehicle driver, your claim will likely be dealing with laws that govern vehicle accidents and insurance claims.

Common causes for personal injury accident claims include but are not limited to:

  • – Medical malpractice
  • – Workers compensation
  • – Vehicle accidents
  • – Defective and dangerous products
  • – Premise liability accidents
  • What do you need to prove to prevail in a personal injury accident claim?

    As mentioned earlier, every state has its own unique set of laws for personal injury claims. There is not one or two things that will guarantee you being able to successfully prove your claim but two very basic things that most states require you to prove in order to win your case are:

    1) You were/are injured.

    2) Your injury is the result of one or more parties’ negligence, malice or recklessness

    Although both of the above typically need to be proven as part of a personal injury accident claim, how one needs to go about doing this may be different for different kinds of personal injury accident claims. One example of this is in medical malpractice claims, the patient (plaintiff) needs to prove that they were in fact a patient of the healthcare practitioner or facility that they are claiming caused their injury. Another example of this is in a product defect personal injury accident claim, the plaintiff (the injured person) needs to prove that there was negligence on behalf of one or more of the parties who was responsible for the design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly, distribution and in some cases, sale of the product, that injured the plaintiff.

    For more questions and answers to these and other legal topics, visit the Law Education Center.

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