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 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. 

Do I have to hire a personal injury lawyer?

Some states require advisory language to appear in lawyer advertisements that recites “the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision”. Nothing could be closer to the truth. The hiring of an attorney is perhaps the most important...

How long will my personal injury case take?

It’s the third most frequent question in my business. Like the other two: “Do I have a case”, and “How much is my case worth”, the answer depends on any number of variables. Even though the answer is going to vary from...

Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

What is uninsured motorist coverage? Uninsured Motorist coverage is considered “first party” insurance. Like health, or perhaps disability insurance, it is your insurance. You pay the premiums You have a policy with your insurance...

When Can the Police Search Me or My Car

There are limits on what they police can and cannot do. The Constitution, and, in this instance, the Fourth Amendment, provides an important buffer of protection between citizens, and the power of the State. We are all guaranteed the right to be...

How much is an average personal injury settlement?

Every personal injury clients asks, understandably, “what is the value of my case?” The second question, invariably, and appropriately, is “what do I get in my pocket?” The first question, frankly, is a difficult question to...

what-prove-win-personal injury-trial

We’ve seen that the plaintiff has the obligation of carrying the day in a car accident or negligence case. In law school, the burden of proof is sometimes discussed as being a both an obligation to produce sufficient supportive evidence, and...

Insurance coverage and the out-of-state car accident

Maryland law provides that polices issued to Maryland residents must provide at least 30,000 in liability insurance coverage. [i.e. to pay for someone loss or damage in the event you hit and injure them] Maryland law also provides that if the...

Black ice and personal injury lawsuits.

The American Meteorological Society tells us black ice is “a popular alternative for glaze. A thin sheet of ice, relatively dark in appearance, may form when light rain or drizzle falls on a road surface that is...

Ice, parking lots, sidewalks and personal injury cases

The owner of person in control of property owes a variable duty to protect people on that property from harm. The responsibility depends on the class of individual assigned under the law. The law recognizes four classes of people who could be...
Request a FREE Consultation:
* Indicates required questions
Name *
First
Last
Email *
Phone # *
Case Type *
Describe Your Case *