Adam Wiley posted an update 2 months ago
The Impact of Fault or No-Fault in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The ‘Fault’ concept can be a lot confusing in a personal injury lawsuit. While it’s one thing to know who’s to blame for your injury, how the insurance handles it can be tricky. Insurance companies’ response to personal injury cases varies across states. You may consult experienced attorneys in Lancaster PA, for an in-depth overview of Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws.
Personal injury insurance states are grouped into two: fault and no-fault states.
Before you file a personal injury lawsuit, first, answer the “who is at fault?” question. Filing for damages starts with knowing who has the blame – and with facts that make them at fault.
At-fault Insurance – Explained
Fault is a form of liability. For compensation, the injured must provide enough evidence that proves the accused’s negligence caused the damage.
Four Elements of Negligence
Negligence refers to a failure to show care in interaction with people or properties. Legally, negligence is a non-intentional careless act.
Here are four legal elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
At every point, the duty of care is expected in our daily social interactions.
For instance, a grocery shop owes a duty of care to shoppers. So, he ensuresthe store is in its safest possible state. If, for example, a customer slips and falls, the store may be liable.
Breach of Duty of Care
In the event a person fails to take necessary precautions to avoid causing harm to another, it is considered a breach.
If, for instance, a store owner cleans the floor – without any warnings that indicate a wet floor – the duty of care may be breached for exposing customers to such a high fall risk.
Breach Leads to Injury
Too often, people breach their duty of care. But in many cases, nobody gets hurt. Texting down the sidewalk, for example, is a breach of duty, since you put the lives of other pedestrians at risk. But since you do not bump into anyone and no injuries, you are not liable for any damage.
So, legally, it is only considered fault or negligence if one’s behavior leads to another’s injury.
The Injury Causes Harm
While texting, you could hit someone hard, but without any bruises or falls. Perhaps the party hit had a bad day. They might get angry and threaten a lawsuit against you for negligence.
No, don’t fret. That’s not how it works.
Negligence claims require that the claimant proves that the other party’s negligence caused them actual harm – in fact, one that demands medical attention.
No-Fault Insurance – Explained
No-fault coverage allows out-of-court settlement for small claims. Here are common terms associated with fault systems:
• First party refers to the policyholder
• Second party is the insurer (insurance company)
• Third party means any other person involved in the accident
The insurer compensates its policyholder after a loss, without considering who was at fault. To illustrate, in a no-fault state, a driver is expected to own a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. For severe injuries, the driver may sue even in no-fault jurisdictions.
No-Fault Medical Policy
One can as well protect themselves from accident liabilities besides auto crashes.
Most homeowners’ coverages come with a no-fault medical insurance package. A visitor who got injured in your home can seek compensation from your insurance company without making any liability suit against you.
Where There Are Multiple Defendants At Fault
Often, the fault isn’t from one person. Besides, it’s likely the party who caused the accident may not be the person liable for damages.
For instance, an eight-year-old child breaks a neighbor’s window while practicing baseball. Although the child is responsible for the neighbor’s loss, factoring his age, the parents may be held liable.
Sometimes, multiple parties might be at fault for an injury. A Lancaster personal injury lawyer can walk you through the legal possibilities based on available facts.
The fault systems dictate how one’s negligence may contribute to an injury. Whether or not you’re at fault, you may want to seek a professional opinion.
A personal injury attorney Lancaster PA may help identify who’s at fault and advise on the next action to take. They can advise you to either file claims for remaining costs following an insurance compensation, or act no further – If the settlement offered is reasonable.
Discuss with Georgelis Injury Law Firm, Lancaster, PA, for available legal options to help you achieve the best possible outcome.