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Determining Fault for an Accident

Posted June 18, 2019 | Car

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

After an accident that leaves you injured, it is sometimes obvious to tell who is at fault. At other times, the signs that indicate the cause of the accident are very subtle, making it difficult to determine fault. At such times, it may appear that no one is at fault for the accident at all. However, this occurs much more rarely than you might imagine. Even if the primary cause of the accident was an act of nature beyond anyone’s control, it may be that the other party did not take significant steps to guard against the potential for injury in such an event.

What If There Was Negligence?

If you are injured on someone else’s property, whether it be a private home or a business, the owner typically owes you a duty of care. This means that it is the property owner’s responsibility to take certain safety measures that include repairing certain hazards (e.g., a broken sidewalk) or at least warning you about them (e.g., a slippery spot on the floor due to moisture). If the property owner fails in his or her duty of care to you, this is negligence, and you have the right to claim damages.

Bear in mind, however, that the duty of care a property owner owes you varies based on your reason for being on the property in the first place. If you are a customer or invited guest on the property, you are owed the highest duty of care. However, if you are a solicitor entering the property uninvited, the duty of care you are owed is much less, and if you are a trespasser, the property owner often owes you no duty of care at all.

What If More Than One Person Is at Fault?

Any one person involved in causing the accident that injured you could be held liable for your injuries and required to compensate you. It is then a matter for the other responsible parties to decide whether or not to reimburse that one individual.

What If You Were Partially at Fault?

Most states will allow you to pursue and collect damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. The amount of compensation that you can receive may be less if your own actions or inactions contributed to your injuries. Furthermore, the law varies by state. Even if you were 99% responsible for the accident, some states will still allow you to pursue and collect damages. In other states, however, you must not be more than 50% or 51% responsible for the accident, or your claim will be denied.

Most accidents are caused, whether directly or indirectly, by a mistake or misconduct. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help you figure out your legal options. Contact a law firm for a consultation.

Call Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury claims and determining fault for an accident.