If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s actions – or, as the case may be, inactions – then you could have a legal right to get compensation. Many lawsuits and claims stem from some sort of accidental injury, from a product being defective to an auto accident.
There are four things you will need to prove negligence on the responsible party’s behalf. Since negligence, as a legal concept, centers around a party failing to provide reasonable care, you need to prove four aspects of negligence: a duty, a breach of said duty, causation, and damages.
What Constitutes Negligence?
Negligence is legally defined as the failure of a party to provide reasonable care, thus leading to a person becoming injured or property becoming damaged. A plaintiff has the right to sue for damages stemming from the harm caused by a party’s inability to act with reasonable care.
Duty of Care
Your first objective as a plaintiff is to prove that the defendant against whom you’re lodging your claim owes a duty to you. A duty must be proven to exist in the form of the relationship between the involved parties, by law, or from the operation or ownership of the instrument that caused the injury.
Think about it this way: Every driver is under a legal obligation to drive safely. This is their legal duty.
Breach of Duty
You will need to prove that there was a clear breach of duty by the responsible party, whether it came through their actions or inactions. You will need to be able to clearly explain how this duty was breached.
For example, if you were injured in an auto accident caused by a driver who was driving under the influence, they will have breached their duty to drive safely.
Another element you need to prove is that the responsible party breached its duty, causing you to sustain injury that, at that time, was reasonably foreseeable by that party. Causation is often determined based on the given evidence on a case-by-case basis.
Keeping with the drunk driver example, you have to prove that the at-fault driver knew what they were doing was dangerous, not to mention illegal. This can be easier to prove than other types of causation, but you will still have to provide ample evidence.
Damages refer to the injuries or property damage sustained in the accident. You must prove the extent of your damages. When it comes to negligence, you might have to provide evidence of lost wages, suffering and pain, or medical/hospital expenses. Even when liability is obvious, there can be disputes between the parties as to the type and extent of damages, hence the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer to advocate your case.
A seasoned personal injury lawyer is usually able to help you figure out the details of your case. Advocating on your own against the responsible party or their legal representative might backfire on you since the legal process for proving negligence and receiving damages has become increasingly intricate. This is why it is so important that you get an attorney to work on your claim.