Charleston Accident Lawyer | Who’s at Fault

Charleston Accident Lawyer . Determining legal responsibility for an accident can be complicated, but often rests on whether someone was careless or negligent  It’s easy enough to say that the person or business that caused an accident must pay for your injuries. But before you get to that point, you must determine who was legally at fault.

Determining legal responsibility for an accident or injury  can be complicated, but often rests on whether someone was careless. It’s easy enough to say that the person that caused an accident must pay for your injuries. But before you get to that point, you must determine who was legally at fault.

Determining Legal Liability

Most accidents happen because someone was careless. The basic rule is: If one person involved in an accident was less careful than another, the less careful one must pay for at least a portion of the damages suffered by the more careful one.

Legal liability for almost all accidents is determined by  one or more of the following:

  • If the injured person was where he or she was not supposed to be, the person who caused the accident might not be liable because that person had no responsibility to be careful toward the injured person.
  • If the injured person was also careless, his or her compensation may be reduced.
  • If a negligent person causes an accident while working for someone else, the employer may also be legally responsible for the accident.
  • If an accident is caused on property that is dangerous because it is poorly built or maintained, the owner of the property is liable for being careless in maintaining the property.
  • If an accident is caused by a defective product, the manufacturer and seller of the product are both liable even if the injured person doesn’t know which one was careless in creating or allowing the defect, or exactly how the defect happened.

When More Than One Person Is at Fault

When there is more than one person responsible for an accident, the law in most states provides that any one of the careless parties is responsible for compensating you fully for your injuries. The responsible parties must then decide between themselves whether one should reimburse the others.

This rule about collecting from any responsible person provides you with a couple of important advantages. If one liable person is insured and the other is not, you can make your claim against the insured person for the full amount. And even if both are insured, you will have to settle your claim with only one insurance company. Initially, consider everyone you think might be responsible and notify each of them that you may file a claim for damages.  Then, depending on what you discover about how the accident happened, or on which insurance company takes responsibility, you will pursue a claim against only one.

How Your Own Carelessness Affects Your Claim

Even if you were careless and partly caused an accident, in most states you can still get at least some compensation from anyone else who was also careless and partly responsible for the accident. The amount of the other person’s liability for the accident is determined by comparing his or her carelessness with your own. The percentage of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages he or she must pay. This rule is referred to as comparative negligence.

There is no formula for arriving at a precise number for a person’s comparative carelessness. During claim negotiations, you and an insurance adjuster will discuss all the factors that might have resulted in the accident. Then the question of your own carelessness goes into the negotiating hopper along with all the other factors that determine how much your claim is worth — such as the seriousness of your injury and the amount of your medical bills.

Since 1989, the personal injury attorneys of Clekis Law Firm have been representing injured people and their families in Charleston and throughout the Low Country. At the Clekis Law Firm our clients always come first. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury due to the negligence of another, don’t be victimized twice. You need someone on your side to help you with your personal injury case and obtain the fair and reasonable compensation that you deserve. Call Clekis at 843.779.1160!