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Liability in United States Based Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Cases

At its basic level, liability means that someone (or an entity) is answerable or responsible for compensating or providing restitution to another.  In most cases, a defendant will have insured against this liability or risk by paying an independent insurance company to provide insurance coverage.  As a result, most personal injury and wrongful death cases are defended by attorneys who are paid in full or in part by the insurance company, not the liable party/defendant.  This also means that the insurance companies, which are heavily regulated and must meet specific minimum financial and liquidity requirements, are often responsible for up to many millions of dollars in coverage and have every incentive to defend these types of cases vigorously.  This fact makes it especially critical that you select the law firm that you believe will do the best job for your particular case.

Personal injury and death can occur for many different reasons.  However, regardless of how severe the injuries, a successful case depends on proving the fault or liability of another.  Typical causes of personal injury and death due to the negligence or fault of another include, but are not limited to, automobile accidents (motorcycle, car, truck/lorry, bus, etc. – pedestrian, single vehicle and multivehicle accidents), premises liability (improperly maintained, secured or equipped buildings), negligent security (hotels, motels, restaurants, bars, and other areas where the public is invited and adequate or appropriate security is not provided), water-related activities (cruise ships, boating accidents, swimming pools, etc.), and many other causes.

Finally, liability is a fact-intensive analysis.  Often witnesses will provide conflicting testimony due to fading memories, different perspectives, and incentives to protect themselves or friends and family.  This is why it is especially important to ensure that you promptly gather all evidence (for example, names of witnesses, including telephone numbers, addresses, etc.) and make your outline of what happened when, where, how, etc.

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