Liability: Legal Definition

The definition of liability is being responsible for something. In personal injury cases, this refers to being responsible for someone’s injuries.

Proving Liability

This is the cornerstone of any injury case. To recover compensation for your injuries and other losses, you must be able to prove another party is liable. Several parties may be liable for an injury.

To establish liability, you must demonstrate the following:

The Other Party Owed You a Duty of Care

This differs depending on the type of injury. For example, a driver owes all other road users a duty to drive safely. A property owner owes visitors a duty to keep their property safe from hazards. A medical professional has a duty to meet a specific standard of care.

The Other Party Behaved Negligently and Breached That Duty of Care

Examples of a negligent action that would constitute a breach of duty could include:

  • Failing to fix a broken handrail
  • Failing to mop up a known spill
  • Failing to fix a broken step
  • Speeding
  • Driving recklessly
  • Texting while driving
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failing to diagnose a disease
  • Misdiagnosing a heart attack
  • Making an error during surgery
  • Driving while fatigued

This Breach Caused Your Injury

The breach must have been a direct cause of your injury. For example:

  • A driver is texting and driving and does not see you crossing the street in the crosswalk. The driver’s negligent act (texting behind the wheel) caused your car accident.
  • A surgeon fails to double check that they have the correct patient. Because of this failure to check, they perform the wrong operation on you. The doctor has failed to uphold a specific standard of care (called medical malpractice), causing your injuries.

You Suffered Damages Because of the Injury

You suffered specific damages because of your injury. These damages may include:

  • Medical bills (both current and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Other miscellaneous costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

To establish damages, you may need the following:

  • Medical records and bills
  • W-2s or pay stubs
  • Testimony from a vocational expert (to establish how your injuries may affect your ability to earn a living in the future)
  • Testimony from other experts
  • Testimony from friends and family to establish how your injuries have affected your life
  • Your own testimony
  • Other receipts

How an Injury Lawyer Can Help You Establish Liability

When you enlist the help of an injury lawyer, they will determine which parties might be liable for your injuries. Once your lawyer has determined the liable parties, they will investigate your case and establish how your injury occurred and how the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injuries.

The team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers wants to help you hold the responsible party liable for your injuries. Call today to get started: 855-529-0269. The consultation is free, and we never collect a fee unless you win compensation.