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What is Liability?

In the context of legal proceedings, determining who is financially responsible to whom for damages caused by another party’s actions or inactions, most commonly in the aftermath of an accident, requires the use of the term “liability.”

It is possible for individuals, businesses, and insurance providers to be affected by it. In cases before the law, the degree of liability will be decided by either a judge or a jury. Insurance companies will make an effort to forecast the total amount of liability in a particular scenario in order to calculate the suitable amount of settlement money to give to anyone who was hurt as a result of an accident.

Another meaning of the word “liabilities” is the sum of money that one party owes to another party. This debt may or may not be relevant to the legal context, but it is not required to be. 

This might include things like :

  • Loans
  • Mortgage or Rent
  • Accrued Expenses
  • Taxes Owed
  • Deferred Revenue
  • Accounts Payable

You must still pay these items legally, but the term “liability” is commonly used in tort cases to describe someone who must accept legal responsibility for losses they caused.

In Terms of Insurance, What Exactly is "Liability"?

You’ve probably heard of the term “liability insurance.” However, you may not fully comprehend it. What exactly does this mean? This type of insurance protects against claims arising from injuries and damages sustained in an accident. 

The following are the most common types of liability insurance:

  • Auto Insurance Policies
  • Portions of Homeowners’ Insurance Policies
  • Umbrella Policies
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Product Liability Insurance

When someone is hurt or their property is damaged as a result of your actions or inactions, insurance coverage comes into play. Because the insurance company (also known as an insurer) assumes the legal responsibility to pay damages to those who have suffered losses—damages that you would otherwise be required to pay—you are spared the obligation of having to pay them yourself. Accidents involving motor vehicles are by far the most common occasion on which liability insurance policies are put into action.

After an Accident, What Are Some Ways to Prove Liability?

Your ability to prove liability will be determined by the specifics of your case. In cases involving tort law, generally speaking, you are required to prove four fundamental facts:

  • The defendant had a duty to you
  • That duty was breached
  • The breach caused your injuries and damages
  • You have suffered losses that were caused directly by the accident

To establish liability, in addition to demonstrating the facts listed above, you must also demonstrate the extent of the damages you have sustained. That is, in order to establish the sum of money that you are entitled to receive, you will need to provide evidence of all of the financial losses that you have incurred. It can be challenging to collect all of this information in order to present it to a judge, a jury, or even an insurance company because it involves a significant amount of fact-finding. 

Thankfully, your personal injury attorney will be able to assist you with this process. Damages often include the following in the aftermath of an accident:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffer
  • Future Medical Costs
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

It can be difficult to determine which insurance policies apply and whether a party is liable without the help of an experienced attorney. 

Anytime you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should contact an attorney for legal assistance. 

Our law firm offers a free consultation to accident victims. Call The Brown Firm today to speak with a lawyer regarding your personal injury case. 

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