Determining who is at fault for the injury that you have incurred can be extremely complicated, yet is one of the most important parts of a personal injury claim; unless you determine who is at fault, you will not have a valid tort action, and therefore will be unable to recover compensation, or your full compensation amount.
In order to determine who was at fault for an accident, it is essential that a thorough investigation take place. In fact, while you may think that fault is obvious–i.e. the driver of the truck who hit you must be the at-fault party–fault is not always so straightforward. For example, was the driver overworked by his or her employer in a violation of hours of service requirements? Had the driver taken a prescription medication with a side effect of drowsiness, of which the driver was unaware? Was the truck thoroughly inspected and maintained by the trucking company prior to its operation? Did a tire blowout cause the driver to swerve, hitting your vehicle? If so, was the tire defective?
Who is at fault not only affects against whom you will file your claim, but also the amount of money that is recoverable. For example, the insurance policies of the potentially at fault parties named above–the truck driver, the trucking company, a pharmaceutical company, a doctor who prescribed the drug, or a vehicle parts manufacturer–may all be very different. If you were to pursue a claim solely against the truck driver, you may not be able to recover nearly as much as would if you were to pursue damages against multiple parties.
However, without conducting a thorough investigation, it can be very difficult to determine who was at fault for your injuries. Without the resources, finances, time, and know-how to conduct a comprehensive investigation into all possible negligent parties, you may be unable to identify exactly who was at fault. When you hire an attorney who has experience working with investigative and accident reconstruction experts, as well as representing accident victims in your claim type, your chances of identifying the at fault party and recovering your full compensation amount are increased.