The first thing in an accident case, before you can talk about compensation and settlement, is
to first determine who as at fault. We need to find out as to whose negligence caused the
accident. Only after this can we fix the accountability on that person and make him pay the
compensation. This is called fixing the liability.
The basic rule in fixing liability is that if one person was less careful than the others, then that
person must pay at least pay a portion of the damages suffered the one who was more careful.
Usually, this is determined using the following methods.
If the injured person was in a place that he was not supposed to be present at that time or was
at a place where the person should have expected the possibility of an accident, then the one
was responsible for the accident is not expected to do anything to protect the injured person.
If the injured person also had some part in causing the accident or getting injured by the
accident, then his compensation will be reduced by such extent. This is called comparative
If the person who was responsible for causing the accident was an employee of someone
when he caused the accident, then the employer is also held responsible.
If a property is poorly maintained and that was the cause of the accident then the owner of the
property is held responsible for not maintaining the property properly, irrespective of whether
he is directly responsible or not.
If a defective product caused the accident, then both the manufacturer and the seller of the
product are responsible even if the injured person is not sure of who was responsible for the
When Fault Is With More Than One Person
There are accidents where more than one driver was responsible for a wreck. If you are the
victim whom should you proceed against? Some states have a law which says that one person
shall be responsible for paying the victim and he shall collect from the others. In such cases,
they will decide among themselves who will pay. Such cases are easy because you need to
deal with only one person and if he has insurance then things are easy.
In other states you should send your claim to all of them and later when one is proved to be
the negligent driver, you can follow up with his insurance company.