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How Do I Prove My Personal Injury Case?

There are several elements which must be proven to win a personal injury case. First, you must prove negligence. Negligence is the failure of someone to take reasonable caution to avoid injuring another person. You have the right, by law, to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from someone who causes you personal injury due to their own negligence.

There are usually four areas of negligence that need to be proved by your personal injury attorney for you to prevail in court.

Did the negligent person owe a duty to the plaintiff?


The first element in the personal injury case which must be addressed is the existence of responsibility. Did a relationship exist between the plaintiff and defendant? Did the defendant have an obligation to act in a certain way to avoid causing injury to the plaintiff?

For example, a driver owes other drivers and pedestrians the freedom to move about safely on the roads without being hit by his car. If that driver strikes another driver while texting on his phone and causes injuries, a personal injury lawyer could argue that the driver was negligent when he took his eyes off the road to text on his phone. The driver had a duty to others on the road; he is negligent and directly responsible for the other driver’s injuries and damaged vehicle.

The negligent person breached his duty


Once you have established that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, than you need to show that the duty was breached. A breach of duty occurs if the defendant violates their duty by failing to practice “reasonable caution.”

While a judge decides whether a duty exists in a personal injury lawsuit, a jury decides the question of whether or not the defendant contributed or caused the injury.

The negligent person’s actions caused the injury


This cause in fact is also referred to as “but-for” causation. So, but for the defendant’s conduct, the damage to the plaintiff would not have happened.

There was an actual injury that can be measured


In a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant is only accountable for the injuries that the he could have predicted or foreseen through his behavior and/or actions. It is not enough to prove that the defendant was negligent. You must also prove that through this negligence, the plaintiff suffered real injuries and/or property damage.

Who can be sued for negligence?


A lawsuit that alleges negligence is not limited to just individuals who are responsible for another’s injuries. Various entities and professional people could be held responsible for a range of damages. For example, a manufacturer can be found negligent for merchandise they produced and/or sold that caused harm to an individual or damaged property. Also, a lawyer or doctor could be sued if malpractice on their part caused financial or physical harm to a client or patient.

Proving negligence is a complicated process. If you think you have suffered damage due to another’s negligence, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney who can show you all options that are available to you.