What if I can't prove who was at fault?

It is usually clear in the case of car accidents which vehicles were involved -although who was at fault may be hotly disputed. In fact, experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers will tell you that the mere fact that an accident happened does not mean someone was at fault. But what about a situation where it is not entirely clear how an accident happened, the vehicles involved, or where the specific mechanism of the accident is not clear [e.g. a car running off a roadway with dry pavement under good weather conditions [Haines v. State, 202 A.2d 364] or a pedestrian hit by a car while standing on the side of a road [UCJFB v. Bowles, 334 A.2d 532]. In such circumstances, the law may provide a shortcut to proving who was at fault, or exactly how they were at fault.

If the event is one that would not normally occur without negligence, the cause of the event was an instrumentality causing the harm was within the exclusive control of a defendant, and no one else, including the injury victim, could have caused the accident, than Res Ipsa Loquitor ["the thing speaks for itself"] permits an inference that the defendant was the cause of the harm.

Of course that this is only half the battle. The defendant then has the opportunity to present a reasonable alternative explanation as to the cause of the harm- that does not involve negligence. The jury can accept that explanation, and give defense verdict, or applying Res Ipsa Loquitor, find the defendant liable, even without direct proof of negligence.

Issues of proof at trial can be complex. Many injury victims choose to employ a seasoned litigator to handle their case. I extend a complimentary case evaluation to potential clients. Contact me today to arrange yours. 


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