Determining Liability in a Personal Injury Case 

Aug 31

Whether classified as a car crash, accident, or collision, liability can be a highly contentious matter in motor vehicle personal injury cases. Oftentimes, the person at fault, the defendant, with the support of their insurance company and their legal counsel, makes a considerable effort to dispute liability. 

Ultimately, liability in a personal injury case hinges on providing evidence to prove that one party’s negligence or carelessness caused the motor vehicle incident. In Indiana, courts take into consideration all of the circumstances surrounding an incident. 


Burden Of Proof

The burden of proving that the defendant is liable for the incident rests with the injured person, the plaintiff. As the plaintiff, you must provide evidence that demonstrates why the defendant is liable and that the incident resulted in your injuries. 


Steps Of Proving Liability  

To determine liability, the case first looks at how the motor vehicle incident occurred. Was it a rear-end incident? A head-on collision? A T-bone collision? Did either party break any traffic laws leading up to the motor vehicle incident?  These questions help establish fault, also known as “causation,” which is often proven through police reports, witnesses, and expert testimony. 

Determining Liability in a Personal Injury Case 



Convincing, relevant, and admissible evidence is crucial in proving liability and negotiating a resolution in a personal injury case. The evidence must show it is more likely than not that the defendant was at fault for causing the incident and the resulting damages. 

Evidence may indicate if either party violated traffic laws, the speed at which each party was traveling, who had the right of way, and more. 

Evidence to prove liability in a motor vehicle incident can include: 

  • Dash camera or surveillance videos of the incident.  
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene. 
  • The property damage to vehicles and the accident scene. 
  • Vehicle defects, repairs, and maintenance history. 
  • Police incident report. 
  • Eyewitness statements. 
  • Driver and passenger statements. 
  • The types of injuries sustained (demonstrated by medical records and photos).  


Common Liability Issues in Motor Vehicle Incidents 

Liability issues are a common factor in motor vehicle incident cases. There are several approaches a defendant or defendants can take when attempting to deny liability. 

Keep in mind that motor vehicle incidents can have multiple defendants held accountable for resulting damages. For instance, defendants could include the person driving the vehicle as well as the person who owned the vehicle if they allowed the driver to use the vehicle when they knew the driver was intoxicated. Potential defendants commonly advocate for other potential defendants to be held at fault, especially in multiple-vehicle incidents. 

Common liability issues in motor vehicle incidents include:

  • Denial. Often, the defendant simply denies they caused the incident and blames the plaintiff. 
  • Speeding. A common excuse that defendants use when denying liability is that the plaintiff was speeding, and that is why they hit the plaintiff’s vehicle.
  • External Factors. When a defendant blames external factors such as the road conditions or the weather. 
  • Product Liability. Defendants may attempt to blame the cause of the incident on a vehicle defect. However, they are responsible for maintaining a safe vehicle and can still be held liable.
  • Comparative Negligence. In some cases, a defendant may claim that both parties involved contributed to the cause of the incident, and if accepted, they will split fault.
  • Third Party. A defendant may place blame on a different vehicle or person (not the plaintiff) in an attempt to avoid fault. 


Contact Our Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers

At Blackburn Romey, our Indiana personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims seek fair compensation. We can provide comprehensive legal representation to help you navigate legal complexes such as legal terminology, determining liability, and negotiating your claim. 

Our car accident attorneys have years of experience, in-depth knowledge, and resources necessary to successfully navigate even the most complex and contentious person injury cases.

Give us a call at Blackburn Romey today to schedule an appointment for initial case consultation from our reliable Indiana personal injury law firm. Our responsive and skilled attorneys can discuss personalized solutions to your legal matter and help you understand your options and next steps. 


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