What if I am unsure who was at fault for the accident?
To be able to make a successful personal injury claim, it will be necessary to prove that somebody else was to blame for the injuries or losses that you have suffered. In many cases, it is clear who is liable and seeking compensation is relatively straightforward. But in some instances, you may not be certain who is to blame for your accident and the subsequent injury or illness that you have suffered. This usually occurs under the following circumstances:
The identity of the person who caused the accident or injury is unknown, such as in a hit and run car accident
The claimant was partly to blame for the circumstances which caused their injuries, and so proving the fault of another may be more complex.
In both of the above scenarios, your personal injury solicitor will be able to assist you in claiming compensation for your injuries and will be skilled in determining who was responsible. The solicitor will be experienced in helping to find the liable party if necessary, and if this is not possible, they will be able to guide the claimant to various government bodies that arrange compensation payments for situations where the liable party cannot be traced.
When the claimant is partly responsible for the accident that resulted in their injuries, the solicitor may still be able to achieve a compensation award on their behalf in what is known as ‘contributory negligence’. The amount of damages awarded will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility that the claimant had in the accident.
When the liable party has been located but is disputing liability for the accident and resulting injuries, it is the job of your solicitor to gather as much evidence as possible to prove their responsibility and negotiate compensation. This can be a time-consuming undertaking, but once sufficient evidence has been collected and your solicitor is confident that a strong case has been built, they will present their case to the defendant’s lawyer. Should liability still be disputed, your solicitor will guide you through any necessary court processes to determine responsibility and arrange a suitable settlement.