When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, the first thing that you should do is determine who you should be filing the claim against. That means determining who is liable for the accident that caused the injury. Your attorney will refer to this as determining liability. Here's what you need to know about the process.
What Does "Determining Liability" Mean?
When it comes to determining liability, it's a complicated process. Depending on the situation, you may have several people arguing about who is actually liable. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, every driver involved may be trying to put the liability on another driver.
Also, if it's an accident in which insurance companies are involved, the insurance companies will review the case as well to determine who is liable. This determination will come from an investigation launched by the insurance company in an attempt to ensure that the claim is paid out is legitimate.
What If There's More Than One Liable Person?
In some cases, there's more than one person at fault for an accident or injury. If multiple people were contributing to the situation that led to your injury or multiple drivers that caused the accident, the courts might assign split liability. In that case, there may be some division of the liability award. In some states, the award will simply be a lump sum, and it will be up to the liable individuals to determine how to split the responsibility of that award.
What If You're Liable Too?
If the investigation reveals that you contributed to the accident in some way, you may be found to be comparatively liable. In that case, the courts may reduce your award amount by a percentage based on how liable you are found to be. If it's determined that you were half at fault, you will only receive half of the awarded amount. Your attorney will help you understand how much your actions contributed to the accident so that you have some idea of what kind of effect it could have on your award amount.
Once you've determined the liability associated with the accident or injury, you can then work with a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit. Before you find yourself unable to file a claim because you can't determine who is at fault, work with your attorney to determine the liability associated with the incident.
For more information, contact a law office like Gartner Law Firm.