Liability is a legal term for fault. Legal liability means that a person or other entity (like a corporation) is responsible for doing something that resulted in personal injuries or property damage.
Understanding liability, and knowing how to recognize it through the facts of your injury claim, is essential to winning a fair settlement.
The more clear the liability:
- The less likely the insurance company will oppose a settlement
- The quicker and easier it will be to get a substantial amount
- The less likely you will have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit
The less clear the liability:
- The more likely the insurance company will deny your claim
- The harder it will be to get fair compensation
- The more likely you will have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit
Without showing liability, it will be difficult to negotiate a settlement. If you can’t convince the insurance company their insured caused the accident, the adjuster may refuse to settle your case at all, leaving you with few options other than litigation.
Recognizing liability is the first step. Framing that liability in a way that will impress the insurance adjuster (with your knowledge of the facts and the law) is crucial in obtaining a fair settlement offer.
Determining Liability for Personal Injuries
Showing negligence, for the purpose of negotiating insurance settlements, is easier than the legal burden of proof in a formal lawsuit. When negotiating your claim, you only have to convince the adjuster that your story is the truth. In a trial, you must prove it.
Understanding the definition of negligence is the first step to building your case. You must identify and connect the responsible party’s negligent conduct to your injury. Only then can you hope to get fair compensation.
Motor vehicle accidents involve a number of factors, and knowing who’s liable can sometimes be difficult. You must learn how to put all the evidence from the scene together to establish liability.
A traffic citation issued to the other driver is powerful proof of liability. You can use traffic violations, and the police report, as strong leverage when negotiating your auto accident settlement.
In some car collisions, liability is essentially predefined. If your claim involves one of these predefined situations, then establishing liability will be easy.
Drunk driving crashes are usually a clear-cut case of negligence. Provide evidence of DUI in your personal injury or property damage claim, and liability should be easy to establish.
If you’ve been hit by a car while riding your bike, you can file an insurance claim for compensation, the same as in a car collision. The most important part is gathering evidence. Here’s what to do after a bike accident to build your claim.
Bike accident claims are special cases, with slightly different rules of liability. Learn how to determine who was negligent in the accident, and you may be able to build a strong case.
When a road accident involves a cyclist, you need to know how the traffic code will affect your case. Understanding common bicycle laws, and your duties as a cyclist, can help you remain safe and, if necessary, help you win a personal injury claim.
Bicycle helmet laws can make or break your personal injury claim. Disobeying state law is not only dangerous, it’s negligent. If you’re reckless and don’t wear the proper safety equipment, you will almost certainly be found partially liable for your injuries.
If you slip and fall in a dangerous environment due to careless property maintainance or other negligence, you’re entitled to compensation. Liability applies, but there are different factors involved.
The legal concept of premises liability applies to both property owners and visitors. Property owners and managers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their visitors, but visitors also have a responsibility to act in a safe manner.
Here we take a closer look at a property owner’s responsibility to keep their visitors safe. Liability is determined by the owner’s obligation to correct a dangerous condition, and by the amount of the injured party’s contributory negligence.
Building code violations are strong evidence of a property owner’s liability. If you know how to use a commercial or residential code violation as leverage, it can make a big difference when negotiating your settlement.
Medical malpractice cases are expensive to litigate, and hard-fought by defense attorneys. Proving medical negligence is complicated, and you’ll definitely need an experienced attorney in your corner. First, learn how to evaluate a malpractice claim.
Liability in accidents involving children can be hard to establish. Learn how parental liability can transfer responsiblity for a child’s negligence to their parents or legal guardians.
Since animals can’t understand the law, they cannot uphold it. In many dog attack incidents, the owner can be held liable for injuries caused by their dog. There are things you can do to help your chances of winning a personal injury claim against the owner.
Product liability is in a class by itself. If you were injured by a defective product, certain legal concepts like strict liability can make your lawsuit settlement almost automatic.
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Visitor Questions on Liability in Injury Claims & Lawsuits
Car accident with no one at fault? A friend was involved in an auto accident at an intersection. Both parties are claiming that the other ran a red light. Both drivers have insurance, but the other driver has no licence. My friend’s car hit the other in the side, and the struck vehicle rolled. The driver of the car that was struck is... Read More >>
Semi truck hit my car and I’m liable? I live in Massachusetts. I was in a 2 lane road of stopped traffic (2 lanes in each direction) in Boston. I was in the right lane and a semi truck was in the lane next to me (going in the same direction). Traffic began to slowly move in front of me and in front... Read More >>
Avoiding potential for self injury at pediatrician’s office? I work at a Pediatrician’s Office. There are a few patients’ parents who allow their children to destroy artwork and paintings hanging in the waiting room, and also in the exam room. We ended up removing EVERY piece of art from the walls in the exam room. We tried hanging some things from the ceiling,... Read More >>
Can a parent be held liable for a special needs child’s property damage and injury of school staff? I live in Ohio and have a special needs child diagnosed with conduct disorder, ADHD, and Cyclothymic Disorder. He attends an alternative school. It is well known that he is destructive, but the school staff continues to not be able to stop him from destroying property. I witnessed one incident where the school was not... Read More >>
Are we liable for our adult child living at home with his own insurance policy? When we were raising our children (5), we had a conversation with the auto insurance agent. He was going over cost of adding them to our policy vs the cost of self-insure. The agent had said that when we have an adult child living in our home it does not matter if he has his... Read More >>
Are we liable for injuries caused by our adult child’s dog? Our 33 year old unemployed son has been living with us for economic reasons, along with his dog, a 6 year old male (spayed) pit bull. This past spring he was walking the dog on a leash, got distracted, and the dog bolted away and he dropped the leash. The dog started to attack another... Read More >>
Am I at fault if a tire blew out? I was driving on I5 north of Los Angeles when my front right tire blew out on my F150. I swerved sharply right and I hit the beginning of a guard rail causing considerable damage. Then the truck slid along the guard rail and came to a stop. My insurance company has informed me it... Read More >>
Who is responsible for a head injury from a rented waterslide? I was at a hotel party with an organization that rented a water slide. The hotel where we had the party was not aware that we rented this water slide. When I was going down the slide I came out the side of an opening on it before I got to the end, and I... Read More >>
Being sued for non-collision accident? My older sister (age 31) was driving my car near a motorcyclist, when the motorcyclist fell, spraining his thumb. The motorcyclist claimed my sister was driving to close to him, causing the accident. However, the insurance company determined the motorcyclist was 60% at fault for the accident, and my sister at 40% (there were no... Read More >>
Insurance refusing coverage because they can’t contact their insured? We were stopped in traffic when the car behind hit me at full speed. We moved the cars into a Mcdonalds parking lot, then called the cops. There was a kid in the car and said he got distracted because he turned around to check on the child. He got a ticket for failure to... Read More >>
Low-dose carbon monoxide poisoning over a 3-year period… We had our roof replaced in 2011. I began feeling ill in the winter of 2011-12 and consecutive winters after that. During the spring and summer, my symptoms would subside for the most part, although I still have severe ringing in my ears and some balance issues. In July of this year, we had an... Read More >>
Does a landlord have any liability if his guest assaulted a tenant? A friend was staying at my house and was there alone. My tenant from a trailer on our property came over to my house and asked my guest a question. Upon leaving, my tenant claimed my guest assaulted him. My tenant went to the ER and called the police. There were no witnesses to the... Read More >>
Police Officer Makes Bad Ruling in Collision… About 2 years ago my girlfriend was involved in a car accident while delivering mail. She was in her boss’s car and the other driver ran into her because he was speeding. It happened on an impassible road that many people have said is a no-fault road. It wasn’t even a bad accident. The other... Read More >>
Personal liability exposure for carpooling a friend’s minor child? Nothing has happened…this is a preventive measure question regarding liability in the event of an auto accident, injury or death of an unrelated minor child being transported from school to their home for free, in the the State of Florida in my Florida registered personal vehicle. We (husband & wife) have taken the following actions:... Read More >>
Insurance Company Denying Liability… While at the Florida mall, I slipped and fall in a clear puddle of water in the middle of the floor. It caused me to fall on the floor and as a result I now have two herniated discs. The insurance company is denying liability due to the fact that I was near the food... Read More >>
Landlord Receives Letter for Former Tenant’s Alleged Injury… I am the property manager who’s client (the landlord) was sent a letter from an attorney who claims he represents a former tenant. He claims that the ceiling fell on the tenant’s head in the bathroom. This tenant was evicted last month after several months of non-payment. Three days before the eviction he verbally tells... Read More >>
Car Crash on Private Property… I was driving on someone’s private property and crashed my car. Since the accident happened on their property, can I file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against them if I got hurt in the crash? Read More >>
Head Injury From Falling Off a Truck… I was hanging onto to the passenger side door of a truck when the driver proceeded to drive down the road at 25 mph. I fell off and sustained a head injury. I’d like to get compensation for my injuries, but because I got onto the truck, am I negligent as well? I know it’s... Read More >>
Defending Against a Lawsuit After the Neighbors’ Kid Fell Off Our Wall… We recently built a wall in front of our house after the old one fell. It was finished. All that was left was to wait for grass to grow and possibly paint it. Our next door neighbors are very irresponsible and leave their three year old to run the streets by himself. We received a... Read More >>
Can I be sued for my daughter’s car accident? My daughter was involved in a car accident. She didn’t have her license and the car was under my name. She was 21 at the time and she is now 24. She has no source of income so the other party is suing me for $30,000. I was not present when this happened so how... Read More >>
Duty of Care of Professional Non-Profit Organization? My boyfriend was involved in a serious accident last weekend. He is in the trauma unit with multiple pelvic bone fractures. He has been there for six days and is about to be released to rehabilitation. He cannot walk and is in terrible, terrible pain. His injury occurred on private property during a public event.... Read More >>
Is landlord responsible for my injuries? I was walking up a step to a trailer that I rented. The second step broke and I completely fell through the step. I had finally become close to being back pain free from a previous injury. The level of pain was a 2 on a scale from 1-10. This new injury re-aggravated my back... Read More >>
Slip and fall on a restaurant’s handicap access ramp… My mom and dad are elderly, in their eighties and are handicapped. They were eating at a restaurant and when they were leaving my dad fell down on the handicap access ramp. My mom was in front of him so she didn’t see him fall or what may have caused him to fall. I asked... Read More >>
What is the liability if the car owner was not the driver? It was a rear-end car accident. The driver of the other car was at fault but didn’t have insurance. The owner of the other car however, does have insurance but the carrier is denying the claim based on the theory of non-permission. My question is, in Connecticut, if the owner did not report the car... Read More >>
When is a hazard considered “open and obvious?” I stepped in an indentation/pothole (approx. 12″ in diameter and 1″ in depth) in an asphalt golf cart staging area – approx 10-12 ft. from the club house door. I fell onto my right side and sprained my left ankle, scraped right knee, got asphalt abrasions to my right hand/forearm, pain in upper chest area,... Read More >>
How to prove fault in an intersection crash? I had a stop light at an intersection. I was coming out of a parking lot and making a left turn. My light turned green and I proceeded to drive across the intersection when a car going straight collided and T-boned me. They claimed that they had the green light and I ran a red... Read More >>