Friday, May 20, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE? 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 injurylawyers will tell you that the mere fact that an accident happened does not mean someone anyone 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. Baltimore personal injury lawyers sometimes argue that 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. Knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers know, though, 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.