How do I prove who was legally at fault for an accident?
You will likely be making a case to the insurer of the at-fault party, not in front a court of law. This means you don’t necessarily have to provide legal evidence. The negotiation with the insurance company will be largely informal, carried out through letters and phone calls with the insurance adjuster. All that is needed is a sound argument — worded simply — that states that another person or company acted carelessly or with negligence, despite if they are plausible arguments on the side of the defendant.
An example could be a car accident case. You would not be required to provide exact measurements of skid marks or angles of the crash. You just have to claim that a driver rear-ended you or turned in front of you, placing fault on them for the incident. Common sense will dictate for both you and the insurance company who is liable for the accident.
If you can provide a strong argument on how the other party is responsible, the adjuster would understand that, if the case went to court, more than likely the insured party would be found to legally liable for the crash. Insurance companies will often opt to pay a claim settlement out of court rather than being at risk to pay for, not only your injuries, but the costs of hiring a lawyer and other court fees as well.
Can I get compensation for my injuries if the accident was possibly partly my fault?
Even if you believe you are partly at fault for the accident, you are still able to receive some kind of compensation from another party who may also be partly responsible for the accident through recklessness. The amount of responsibility can be determined by comparing the carelessness of the other party with that of your own. An example would be if you are 25 percent at fault while the other party is 75 percent at fault. In this case, the other party (or their insurance company) would pay for 75 percent of the compensation for your sustained injuries. This is known as “comparative negligence.” Most states, including Utah, practice comparative negligence when determining liability for a car crash or other type of accident.
There is no exact way to assign the percentage of carelessness to an involved party. When negotiating your claim, it is likely that you will have your own percentage and the adjuster will come up with another. The adjuster will make the argument of why you should take on a greater extent of the responsibility for the incident. Both of these estimated percentages will then be taken into the greater negotiations process along with all other factors that will ultimately determine the value of your accident claim.
Can I receive compensation for my injuries if my physical limitations made the accident more likely or worsened my existing injuries?
Many times people have pre-existing conditions prior to being involved in an accident. Let’s say that you have a bad knee or a similar injury. This could make your leg a bit unsteady. You could also have poor eyesight that makes you unable to see clearly. If you fall on a broken stairway, are you eligible for compensation even though another person with stronger legs or better vision may not have also fallen?
This is an absolute yes. Everyone, regardless of their own ability, has a legal right to proceed through the world without any unnecessary risk. The owners and inhabitants of property are not to put anyone at any type of unnecessary risk who is expected to be present on the property. This also applies to drivers and everyone else you may encounter in your day-to-day life. Everyone has a duty to not endanger anyone who they may meet.
What is negligence?
Negligence is a legal term that applies to any careless action that results in, or somehow contributes to, an accident. An example could be a person who failed to stop at a stop sign, causing him or her to strike a vehicle as they were passing through the intersection. The person who did not stop would be deemed negligent for putting the other driver in danger.
A person is seen as negligent whenever he or she fails to act on their duty to act reasonably and carefully. It can be stated generally that everyone has an obligation to act within reasonable care in any situation. This means we must act in a way that will not foreseeably injure people around us. An example could be someone who drives around in the evening while wearing sunglasses. This would be deemed a negligent action because a reasonable driver would understand that this would increase the chances of being involved in a traffic collision.
For a majority of accidents, someone must be established as negligent in order to be legally responsible for the injuries of another. If someone acts recklessly and that action results in harm, he or she will probably be liable to cover the costs of compensation for sustained injuries.
Personal Injury Accidents in Salt Lake City
Someone can be injured at any time for many different reasons. They could be involved in a traffic collision, an accident while on the job, or simply a slip and fall at the local grocery store. It is in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City in order to protect your legal rights after being involved in an accident.
The experienced Utah car crash attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen have been helping the people of Utah for over three decades. Our lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the settlement claim you deserve after being injured in a serious accident. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a negligent party, contact our law offices today at (801) 845-9000 in order to see how we can help and to discuss your options for your case.
Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.