Determining Fault in Personal Injury Cases

If you were recently injured by someone else’s actions, you are likely entitled to compensation. If you can prove that the individual caused your injuries, either directly or indirectly, then he or she is legally obligated to compensate you for every financial loss resulting from that injury. Additionally, the judge will decide how much your non-financial losses, such as pain and suffering, are worth monetarily. However, in order for this to happen, you need to establish that the individual is at fault for your injury. What is fault and how do you determine it. You should leave that matter up to your personal injury attorney in Scottsdale, AZ, but it may still be useful to understand it for yourself.

What Is Fault

Fault essentially means responsibility. If someone is at fault, that means the injury was that person’s fault. They must take responsibility for the injury, as well as all the legal consequences for the actions that lead to the injury. In the simplest cases, this translates to compensation. In more severe cases, however, it may lead to criminal charges being brought against them. However, this usually only happens if the individual acted maliciously and intentionally.

Determining Fault

So how do legal professionals prove that someone was at fault? There are four components that must be true. Your attorney will be trying to establish that all four of these components are accurate for your case:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach
  3. Causation
  4. Damage

The first component is duty. This means the defendant needs to have had some duty to act a certain way. For example, every citizen has a duty not to drive drunk or employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment. Basically, a reasonable person must agree that the individual was expected to act a certain way.

The second component is breach. This means the defendant did not fulfill whatever duty they had. Essentially, it must be shown that the individual breached his or her duty.

The third component is causation. This means the defendant’s breach of duty must have been the cause of the injury. If someone breaches his or her duty, but it does not cause any harm, then there is no fault. If the harm would have happened with or without the breach of duty, then you do not have a case.

The fourth component is damage. This just means that the breach of duty needed to have hurt you in some way. In personal injury cases, the injury would be the damage that you suffered.

Thanks to Yearin Law Office for their insight into personal injury claims and determining fault.