Not only must you prove fault, but you must first determine on whose shoulders fault should be placed. In some cases, this is easy to decide: you are in an accident with a drunk driver – the drunk driver is clearly at fault. In other cases, however, fault is much less straightforward.
Consider an accident where a truck driver, who is fatigued, drifts into another car’s lane and causes serious injuries to that vehicle’s driver. A review of the evidence shows that the driver was indeed fatigued, and had taken supplements to help keep themselves awake, which impaired their frame of mind. A person may automatically assume at this point, then, that the truck driver was 100 percent at fault. But, a more careful review also shows that the driver violated their hours of service logs (drove more hours than the federal government allows), based on a direct order from their employer, who knew that a violation of the law was occurring. Now, it appears that the employer should be held liable.
Situations like the one above are very common – in fact, it is normal for more than one party to be named as a defendant in a personal injury claim. So how do you figure out whom to name?
Conducting a Thorough Investigation
The only way to truly determine who is at fault in a personal injury accident is to conduct a very thorough investigation. This investigation will not only center on the collection of evidence, but the review and analysis of this evidence.
Most people who are injured do not even know where to start when it comes to collecting evidence that can be used to press civil charges and develop a claim. That is where a personal injury attorney comes in: an attorney is highly trained at collecting evidence, or/and recruiting professionals – like accident reconstruction experts – who can put all the pieces together to determine exactly who is at fault.