What are the Big Three?
When a lawsuit is filed in a personal injury claim, there are essentially three parts to a case: liability, causation, and quantum.
Liability is a legal determination as to which driver is at fault for causing the auto accident. Sometimes this determination is not “cut and dry,” and even the plaintiff may be found to have done something to contribute to the accident. In Louisiana cases, if the plaintiff is found to have contributed to the accident, then his award may be reduced by the percentage of fault that he is found to be responsible.
For instance, if a judge or jury finds that a plaintiff was 20% at fault for causing the accident, then the plaintiff’s award is reduced by 20%. In addition to the testimony of the drivers involved in the accident, attorneys rely on things like a police report or eye witness testimony to help build a case proving that a defendant was solely responsible for causing an accident.
The question of causation can simply be stated as, was the injury caused by the accident? To determine whether an injury is causally related to an accident, an attorney will seek out the medical opinion from the plaintiff’s doctor. If the plaintiff’s doctor is able to find that, more probable than not, the injuries sustained by the plaintiff were caused by the accident, then causation can be established.
In the event that liability and causation are found to be in favor of the plaintiff, then we are left with quantum, which concerns how much a plaintiff will recover for the injuries that were suffered. Since it is impossible to give an injured party their health back or make up for time missed time during recovery, a monetary award is made to address these damages. This amount can be affected by many different factors, including age and level of activity. In many instances, attorneys will research awards made in past cases in order to assist a plaintiff in making his decision as to whether to accept an offer to settle or go to trial.
Happy motoring! If you need professional assistance with your automobile accident accident injury case, don’t hesitate to seek the help of the Morris Bart personal injury attorneys!