Step Two In A Civil Case: Establishing Liability


Two factors are important in personal injury cases: (1) whether the plaintiff has sufficient evidence to establish that the injuring party was at fault, and (2) whether the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injuring party’s negligence. When an attorney first gets a personal injury case, one of the first things we look for is whether there is sufficient evidence showing that the other party was negligent. If there is no proof that the other party is at fault there is no case regardless of how badly injured a plaintiff might be. Likewise, if there is a lot of evidence of fault (or negligence) but the plaintiff wasn’t injured, then there is no case.



I start my investigations with a detailed interview with my client. We go over in detail the events that led to the injury so that I can find any hidden gems of evidence that my client may have overlooked. Once that step has been taken I then go about obtaining police reports (if there are any), interviewing witnesses, visiting the scene of the accident or incident,  and obtaining video, audio or photographic evidence that might be available.


Some cases are clear-cut. Rear-end collisions are a basic example of that. When one car slams into the back of another, the law presumes that the person rear-ending the other was following too closely. Other cases are not so clear-cut. It sometimes takes an accident reconstructionist to be able to accurate discern what happened in a collision. Or, in cases of sexual abuse, sometimes it’s the victim’s word against the offender.  In such cases, corroborating evidence is vital to the case and every possible source of evidence must be pursued. It’s important that the lawyer do a thorough job of obtaining and reviewing all the evidence in order to fully understand the case and be able to establish a solid case on behalf of his/her client. That evidence is important both in the pre-litigation negotiations and, of course, at trial.


If you’ve been harmed by another person or entity and want to know if you have a case, please call me at 404-474-2531 for a free and confidential consultation.

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