The term “liability” is used in the context of legal cases to indicate who owes who money because of their actions or inaction, often after an accident. It can apply to individuals, companies, and insurance carriers. A judge or jury will determine the extent of liability in legal cases. Insurance companies will attempt to predict the amount of liability in a given situation to determine the appropriate amount of settlement for anyone who was injured in an accident.
Liabilities also refer to the amount of money that someone owes someone else. While this debt could be in the legal context, it doesn’t have to be. It can include things like:
- Accounts payable
- Mortgages or rent
- Deferred revenue
- Accrued expenses
- Taxes owed
You are still legally required to pay these items, but the term “liability,” is commonly used in tort cases to describe someone who must take legal responsibility for losses that they created.
What is “liability” in terms of insurance?
You may be familiar with the term “liability insurance.” But you may not fully understand it. What does this mean? This type of insurance provides protection against claims that arise from injuries and damages after an accident. The most common forms of liability insurance include:
- Auto insurance policies
- Portions of homeowners’ insurance policies
- Umbrella policies
- General liability insurance (especially for businesses)
- Product liability insurance
The insurance coverage applies when someone is injured or damaged because of your actions or inactions. The insurance company (or insurer) takes on the legal responsibility to pay damages to those who suffer losses that you would otherwise be required to pay—so that you don’t have to. Car accidents are by far the most common situations where liability insurance contracts come into play.
How do you prove liability after an accident?
Proving liability will depend on the facts of your case. Generally, you must prove four basic facts in tort cases:
- The defendant had a duty to you
- That duty was breached
- The breach caused your damages
- You have suffered losses that were caused directly by the accident
Proving liability not only means showing the facts above, but also indicating how much damages you have experienced. That is, you have to prove the amount of money that you should receive by showing all of the losses you have suffered. Gathering all of this information to present to a judge, jury, or even insurance company can be difficult—it’s fact-intensive and requires a great deal of time and effort. Thankfully, your personal injury attorney can help with this process. Damages following an accident often include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Future medical treatment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Determining which insurance policies apply and whether a party has liability can be difficult. John Foy & Associates has over 20 years of experience helping accident victims with their legal claims, including proving liability and how much it should cost. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.