How Do I Know If a Personal Injury Was My Fault or Someone Else’s Negligence?

For injured victims and their families, a serious accident can be truly devastating. In many cases, victims must deal with intense physical and emotional trauma, a lengthy recovery and major financial losses. The party that was at-fault for the accident must be held accountable. Of course, this raises an important question: How do you know who can be held liable for the damages resulting from a major injury? Here we answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.

How Is Fault Determined?

In most personal injury cases, fault is determined by examining causation. In other words, the party whose bad actions (or inactions) ‘caused’ the accident can generally be held responsible for the resulting injuries. In some cases, a victim will have caused their own accident, though often, an accident is caused by the negligence of another party.

What is Negligence?

Negligence is the failure to take proper care in a particular situation. In order to prove negligence, a victim will need to prove each of the following four basic legal elements:

 

  • Duty: You must be able to establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • Breach: The defendant must have breached their duty of care through their actions or inactions.
  • Causation: There must be a causal link between the defendant’s breach of their duty of care and your accident.
  • Damages: Finally, you must be able to prove that you suffered actual damages in the accident.

Sometimes, negligence is clear and obvious. For example, if a drunk driver ran a red light and smashed into a bicyclist, that driver was certainly negligent. However, in many cases, proving negligence is actually a fairly complex process. Indeed, an injured person may actually be the victim of someone else’s negligence without even realizing it. After a major accident, you should always speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can comprehensively investigate your case.

Can I Still Recover Compensation if the Accident was My Own Fault?

In Nevada, a victim may be able to recover compensation even if they were partially to blame for their own accident. Nevada uses a modified comparative negligence standard with a 51 percent bar on recovery. This means that you can recover compensation for your injuries if you were responsible for 50 percent of the accident or less. In those cases, a victim’s compensation would be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, assume that a man sustained $20,000 of  damages in a car crash. If he was found to be at-fault for 10 percent of his own accident, then his recovery would also be reduced by a corresponding 10 percent, or $2,000. Thus, he would only be entitled to recover $18,000.

When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

It is best to get a personal injury lawyer by your side as soon as possible. If you suffered a serious injury, or if fault is in anyway disputed in your case, you must take action today. For proven injury case results, please contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Ladah Law Firm.