When you get into an accident that was not your fault, you probably feel certain, deep down in your gut, that no liability should be placed on your shoulders for what happened. Yet what you know is not nearly as important as what you can prove or argue when it comes to assigning liability in a personal injury case.
Sooner or later after an accident or incident, insurance companies will get involved and try to determine the liability of all parties. The same determination may later be required of a judge or jury, if the matter cannot be solved outside of court. What are these parties going to weigh while making their decisions? Knowing what can decide liability in a personal injury claim can further help you prove your point and actually secure the compensation you need and deserve.
Typical factors that can help with assigning liability in an injury claim:
- Admissions of guilt: One of the most influential factors in a personal injury claim is one of the least formal: admissions of guilt. Parties seeking to avoid fault will cling to any sort of admission of guilt from any of the parties, including saying a simple sorry. Even if no one records you saying that you are sorry for the accident, if the other party or their insurer gets wind of it, they will fight tooth and nail to pin as much liability onto you as possible.
- Photographs or video: Pictures say 1,000 words or more when it comes to liability assignments in personal injury claims. While everyone has an idea what happened leading up to and during the accident, photos and videos will show with stark certainty the reality of the situation. If you think other parties might have visual evidence of the accident that you have not seen yet, be sure to tell your personal injury attorney. During the discovery process, they can request copies of any and all evidence the opposition might have on hand.
- Eyewitness testimony: Do not forget the power of spoken word. The testimony of eyewitnesses will be used extensively by insurers and other parties when they try to determine liability. This may help or hurt your case. Sometimes the person who gave a testimony is not trustworthy, or there are other reasons to doubt what they have said. The testimony of eyewitnesses should never be taken at face value and your personal injury attorney can help you decide the best approach to either minimize or maximize the impact of such testimony.
- Official statements: When it comes to using trustworthy testimony to help with liability assignments, people in uniform are second-to-none. In particular, the official statements of emergency responders – police officers, firefighters, rescue crews, and paramedics – are often held in high esteem by insurers and judges.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Rhode Island Injury Lawyers
Are you worried you will be assigned an unfair amount of liability for your accident? Do you think you should not be given any liability at all? Let McIntyre Tate LLP and our Rhode Island civil law attorneys stand by your side and act on your behalf to help ensure you are not shorted compensation through misplaced liability. We are known throughout the state for being a law firm capable of delivering boutique law firm service with a big law firm impact. Discover how we can assist with your claim by calling (401) 351-7700, or you can schedule a consultation by emailing our office.