In a previous post, I discussed what you should do immediately after being injured. The last step in that process was to talk to an attorney to discuss what your rights are. Before you talk to an attorney, you should know who might be responsible for paying for your injuries. A lawyer is more likely to take your case if someone who has the money to compensate you is responsible.
The legal term for determining who is responsible for paying for your injuries is “liability.” So who has liability, and how does that impact the outcome of a case?
What is a Duty?
In order for someone to be liable to you for an injury, that person must first possess some kind of responsibility towards you. For example, if you are injured in a car wreck, other drivers owe you a responsibility of driving safely. If you are injured in a store, the store owes you a responsibility to keep the floor from being slippery.
However, just because you have been injured does not mean someone had a duty to protect you. For example, getting injured at a dentist’s office because the ice outside the building was not taken care of may not mean the doctor is the one you should sue. In some instances, the proper person would be the doctor’s landlord.
What if You Made a Mistake?
Sometimes people who are injured were doing something they were not supposed to. For example, if you were leaving the grocery store and forgot to look both ways before going into the parking lot and you were hit as a result, you may not be able to collect any more from the other side. Virginia is a state that requires the person seeking money to have done nothing wrong themselves.
Therefore, it is important to know whether or not you made any mistakes, as it may impact whether a lawyer wants to take your case.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is important because a lawyer is trained in identifying the proper person to sue. If you do not sue the right person, your case may automatically be dismissed. Make sure you consult with an attorney immediately after your injury to understand your rights in more detail.