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How Is Fault Determined after an Accident?

How Is Fault Determined after an Accident?

Proving fault when you have had an accident is never easy to prove. Many accidents, whether it involves motor vehicles, medical malpractice, or a slip and fall case on public or private property, there has to be some degree of fault. This is an essential element to proving most types of injury claims.

The Laws Regarding Liability

Negligence is always the factor that plays a role in many accident claims. The concept is relatively straightforward: another party acted either carelessly, recklessly, or disregarded the rules regarding safety.

These are the four major components regarding negligence:

  1. One party owed “duty of care” to the other. For example, there is an existing or established doctor-patient relationship. Drivers inherently acknowledge this responsibility when they apply for licenses; there is assurance that they will obey the rules of the road and that they will do everything in their power to limit harm to others.
  2. One party “breached” the duty of care to the others. That individual or entity acted in an unreasonable manner or outside the standard practice that would be expected. One example would be a driver who rear-ends another vehicle because he or she was not paying attention.
  3. The injured party, or plaintiff in a lawsuit, must show that the other person (the defendant), is responsible for the accident and that his or her actions led up to the accident.
  4. The element, the plaintiff, must prove that he or she sustained injuries or damages due to the accident.

The fourth component is perhaps the most vital in negligence claims. Because, even if the other party did cause an accident, and it is confirmed, acknowledged, and supportive by clear evidence, a plaintiff has no basis for a claim if there were no damages or injuries suffered.

What If Others Were At Fault?

Your claim would include an account of the accident and every person whom you believe was responsible for the accident. It would not be that much more involved than if you were dealing with one person or group.

Alternatively, if you are found partially at fault or had some contribution to the accident, you can still file for recovery. In New York, because of the no-fault system, regardless of whoever was at fault, you can make a claim with your own insurance company. Filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties can assist you as well, to help ensure you receive the maximum worth of your claim.

We fight for fair settlements at Belushin Law Firm! Reach out today for a case consultation.


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