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How to Prove Fault in Personal Injury Cases

Proving fault is critical in winning your personal injury case. However, a simple case of “he said, she said” will not suffice. You must provide evidence to support your claims that the other person is responsible for your injuries. To do this, you must provide the proof that the defendant is responsible for your injuries.

In order to prove a person is at fault, the law says that you must:

  • Show that the defendant had a legal duty of care to you, under the circumstances
  • Prove that the defendant failed to uphold his or her legal duty of care
  • Show how the defendant caused the accident or injury that resulted in personal injuries for you
  • Show evidence that harm or injury occurred as a result of the defendant’s actions (or lack thereof)

Solid Proof of Fault

Fault is best proved by measurable factors. These (mostly) concrete details provide support for your claims of fault with little room for alternate interpretations. Some examples include:

    • Motor vehicle accidents. Factors such as medical toxicity screenings in the form of drug and alcohol lab test results, witness testimony to observing infractions in traffic laws such as breaking speed limits, illegal maneuvers, or erratic driving patterns, or defective automobile parts or equipment all play into proving fault in a personal injury case.
    • Premises liability. You may have to prove that you were not trespassing when the injury occurred. This may include providing logs of phone calls to the residence to announce your arrival, or photographs of “no trespassing” signs (or lack thereof). If the defendant can prove that you were trespassing on property when the injuries occurred, they may have limited or no liability for the accident under the law.
  • Slip, trip, and fall. One of the best tools in proving fault in a slip, trip, or fall personal injury case is photographic evidence of the accident site. If the defendant showed negligence in maintaining the property, and that negligence led to your injuries, you will need to produce evidence of the physical conditions that led to your accident.

Admissions of fault from the defendant are rare, but it is always a good idea to check with your reporting first responders to the scene, such as EMS, police, and medical personnel. They may have documented any admissions of fault from the defendant made in the minutes following the accident.

One thing to remember when proving fault is that the negligence does not have to be intentional. Even accidental negligence or an obvious indifference does not excuse the defendant from liability.

Personal Injury Lawyers based in Olympia, Spokane, and Vancouver, WA

A skilled lawyer can uncover any further proof of fault that will aid you in your case, even if you begin your claim with no apparent solid evidence.


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