Accidents, incidents or outright attacks, the issue is clear that you were hurt because of someone else. Personal injury cases can include dog bites, car crashes and even catastrophic injuries. 

What is Fault?

Fault is a two-sided element of the law. On one side, it includes negligent acts, and so someone who acted negligently is likely at fault. On the other side of things, it consists of any improper action, including omissions, which cause injury.

Private property owners are often found ”at fault’ for personal injury cases because they failed to correct a parking curb, an exposed tree stump or a water spill. In car accidents and dog-bite cases, fault often comes from an act of negligence rather than inaction. A person who drove recklessly is likely at fault. 

Considering Intentional Conduct

Intentional conduct is complex even at the best of times. However, it offers a strong defense for many personal injury cases. Essentially, if you choose the argument of intentional conduct, you say that the other person was well aware of their actions and had a purposeful desire to see the consequences of their actions.

A common example of intentional tort or intentional conduct is battery, which occurs when one person hits another. A more relatable example to intentional conduct in personal injury cases is brake checking or road rage, such as when a person drives so recklessly that they know a crash is a probable consequence of their actions.

Involved Entities

In addition to you and your lawyer, there are other key players in your case. Usually, you may have to work with one or more insurance companies. City or state regulations may also play a role in determining who was at fault based on their previous interpretations of the law.

Types of Negligence

Contributory negligence is the most common type, and it dedicates a percentage or a degree of fault to the plaintiff, considering the circumstances. It is possible for plaintiffs to have a 0% contribution. Comparative negligence is what most people know through experience with auto insurance companies, when one person is at fault for the entire incident.

Fault is generally determined by weighing negligence, strict liability and intentional wrongs. This system is most prevalent in contributory negligence, where the resolution of the case rests on weighing the entire situation. Tort law and recent tort reform works to ensure that regardless of the degree of fault, victims can only receive so much in damages.

When you simplify the language, fault is any action or inaction that leads to injury because of carelessness, negligence or ignorance. Speeding, failing to adhere to traffic laws or not correcting a known danger can all put you at fault in the eyes of the law.

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