If you are unfortunate enough to get involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustain a personal injury, you must thank your stars that you are still alive! You get treated for your injuries and, hopefully, you are fit again.
However, this certainly does not absolve the perpetrator of this accident that had resulted in your injuries. It is incumbent upon you to pursue this case to receive the compensation you so deserve.
If you have sustained the injuries in an accident in California, you stand to gain. This is because the services of an experienced Santa Rosa personal injury lawyer is available to you. With years of experience, he or she is an expert in cutting short a long and frustrating legal process to win your case and get you compensated for your injuries.
Proving who is at fault
It is of utmost importance to determine who is culpable for the accident that resulted in your injuries and the consequent pain and suffering. The action and negligence for this accident can be due to more than one party.
An accident of such nature where more than one party is involved is not usually an open and shut case. Only legal experts, who are experienced in these kinds of accidents, are in the best position to equitably apportion the blame on the responsible parties. Once the culpability is determined, the responsible party or parties will be legally notified through a notice letter, usually served by a lawyer.
Just because you got injured in the accident doesn’t mean that you cannot be at fault. Your injuries may be due to your own negligence in, say, not wearing a seatbelt or following the correct traffic rules, when the accident happened. This, in legal terms, is called contributory negligence.
The fallout of contributory negligence is that it makes proving the other party entirely at fault more difficult and also reduces the damages you are entitled to. On a positive note, the other party or parties remain partially liable for your injuries and the pain and suffering you have incurred.
Legal steps to proving fault
You cannot get personal injury compensation awarded by the court in a motor vehicle accident if you are unable to legally prove the fault of the other party or parties. Proving negligence involves a lot of spadework in gathering police reports, witnesses’ account of the accident, reconstruction and simulation of the accident, etc.
It is not possible for you to undertake this onerous task yourself, on the condition that you are, after sustaining injuries. This is best left to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Such a lawyer will help you and the case in getting answers to questions, such as:
- Who was responsible for causing injuries to your person and damage to your vehicle?
- Did the accused contribute to this accident by his or her negligence or carelessness while driving?
- Was the accused legally responsible for avoiding such an accident that resulted in your injuries?
On the basis of questions like these, the personal injury lawyer will get you the compensation from the court not only for the pain and suffering but also for the expenses, lost income, vehicle repairs and other expenses associated with the accident.
Fault determination rules
Every US state has fault determination rules. These rules are used in proving the legal fault of party or parties in motor vehicle accidents that resulted in personal injury. These include investigating which laws were broken in the accident and by whom. It also considers police and insurance reports, which in themselves are not valid for legally assessing the fault, but do provide a context to help in coming to an understanding.
In personal injury cases, the burden of proof lies with the injured party. So, you will have to prove that it was the accused who caused the accident resulting in your injuries and that your injuries were caused by the accident. This needs to be supported by medical documents from a recognized doctor or specialist. The evidence gathered by you previously may prove invaluable in fixing liability.
This just goes to show how difficult it is to prove the fault of the other party or parties in a motor vehicle accident that has caused you pain and suffering. It becomes all the more important for the victim to gather all the evidence to prove the case in court. For this, an experienced personal injury lawyer becomes indispensable.