In a personal injury case, the plaintiff claims to have suffered a loss. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s negligence caused that loss. The plaintiff’s lawyer must seek the answer to this question: Does the evidence support that allegation? Does it prove that the defendant should be found at-fault for the tragic accident?
What lawyers know about fault-finding
An attorney knows that more than one person might be found at fault. That would mean that the job of paying compensation to the victim/plaintiff could be shared between 2 or more people. Thus, it becomes the job of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sherwood Park to identify all the people that might be blamed for the accident.
In other words, the plaintiff’s lawyer collects evidence and carries out an investigation. That investigation represents an attempt to answer 4 key questions.
What are those questions?
• Did the defendant have a duty of care towards the victim/plaintiff?
• Did the defendant breach that duty?
• Did the defendant’s actions cause the accident, the one that resulted in the losses suffered by the victim/plaintiff?
• Did the cost of the plaintiff’s damages come to an appreciable sum?
How can lawyers expand the scope of their investigations, if those 4 questions remain unanswered, following the first investigation’s first stages?
In addition to collecting more evidence and conducting more interviews, a personal injury lawyer might contact some expert witnesses. Lawyers investigating a personal injury case might also check to see if the defendant should be found at fault for something other than negligence.
What other charges might be considered?
If the evidence showed that the defendant had acted on purpose, then he or she could be charged with committing an intentional tort. If evidence showed that the defendant had violated a statute, then he or she could be charged with negligence per se. For instance, a reckless driver that causes a collision could be charged with negligence per se. If the defendant had been careless and neglectful in the right circumstances, usually a dangerous situation, then he or she could be charged with violation of strict liability laws.
What defenses might be introduced, if someone became a target of such charges?
• Comparative fault: The plaintiff was partly to blame.
• The plaintiff had accepted assumption of the risks that were present at the time of the accident. That acceptance has usually been presented in the form of a signed document.
• The defendant was following the directives from an employer. The employer can be held liable.
• The plaintiff had trespassed on the defendant’s property. An injured trespasser cannot bring a personal injury claim.
• The defendant had been trying to help the plaintiff. A rescuer cannot be held liable for actions that injured the person that was being rescued.