You may follow every rule there is with integrative health, but then you’re driving down the road, minding your own business and thinking about the news of the day when all of a sudden SLAM. Your vehicle has been struck by another motor vehicle and suddenly you’re in a ditch, your head is splitting and you’re pretty sure by how hard it is to breathe comfortably that at least one of your ribs is broken. What happened?
The question “What happened?” is both the natural reaction of car accident victims and those who care about them alike. Determining the answer to this question will help everyone who is involved in the collision to process the trauma that they have just endured. However, answering this question also has a secondary purpose. By accurately determining the cause(s) of a crash with the assistance of an experienced legal professional, crash injury victims can then determine who was at fault for what happened. A determination of fault then leads to questions of liability and whether an accident victim has strong grounds upon which to file legal action.
Causation Isn’t Always a Straightforward Issue
As an experienced personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at Ward & Ward Law Firm – can confirm, it is rare that the “full picture” concerning causation for a crash can be ascertained at a glance. While law enforcement officers generally write up a report at the scene of a collision while utilizing the resources at their immediate disposal, a host of invisible contributing factors can generally only be ascertained by a more thorough investigation.
For example, say that the driver who hit you was texting behind the wheel. She admitted as much at the scene, so the situation appears to be an open-and-shut scenario in which she is fully liable for your injuries. However, upon a more thorough investigation, it is discovered that she is driving a Ford model that was recently recalled for a faulty brake hose. As a result, her brake fluid had been leaking without her knowledge. It, therefore, took her much longer to stop once she realized that she was headed right toward you than it would have otherwise.
In this scenario, what had seemed like an obvious assessment of the crash’s cause turned out to be more complicated as a result of invisible factors. As a result, you’re now in a position to hold both the driver and The Ford Motor Company liable for your harm.
Why Fault Percentages Matter
Now that it has been determined that you’re going to name two defendants in your personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will need to ascertain “how much” fault should be assigned to each responsible party. The percentage of fault assigned to a party is consequential because it reflects how much of a victim’s damages should be assigned to each.
Some states limit the ability of injury victims to seek damages for other parties if they bear a certain burden for their own harm. For example, in Indiana, an injury victim can’t sue another party for compensation if they are more than 50% at fault for their own injurious circumstances.