Posted in News on March 31, 2021
Injuries can lead to significant setbacks for victims, and it is crucial that any person harmed due to the negligence of another individual, business, or entity receive the compensation they are entitled to. Unfortunately, proving the negligence of at-fault parties in these cases can be challenging. Here, we want to discuss the process of proving fault in a personal injury case. This involves conducting investigations, gathering evidence, and working with trusted experts.
What Components Comprise Negligence?
In civil personal injury cases, the plaintiff (the injury victim) has the burden of establishing that the other party in the case was negligent in causing their injuries. We will find that there are four elements of negligence that need to be proven in these cases:
- Duty. For all personal injury cases, it needs to be shown that the defendant owed some sort of duty of care to the plaintiff. A duty of care arises anytime the law establishes a relationship between the plaintiff and defendant, leading to the defendant being required to exercise a certain standard of care to avoid harming the plaintiff. A duty of care will look different depending on the type of injury case being discussed. For example, a doctor will owe their patient a duty of care. Drivers on the roadway have a duty to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicle so as not to harm other people around them.
- Breach of duty. After a duty of care has been established, a plaintiff must then show that the defendant breached their duty of care in some way. A breach of duty of care will have occurred if the defendant failed to meet the standard of care required for the given situation. For example, a driver will breach their duty of care if they run a red light or stop sign.
- Causation. After a breach of duty of care has been established, the plaintiff must then prove that their injury was caused by the breach.
- Damages. Finally, a plaintiff has to show that they actually suffered some sort of damages that are quantifiable in monetary terms.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Prove Negligence?
There are various ways that a personal injury attorney will go about proving negligence in these cases. An attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to fully investigate the claim and uncover all of the evidence needed to prove liability. This evidence will look different depending on the type of injury case, but can include the following:
- Photo or video surveillance of the incident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Company safety records
- Statements from coworkers
- Vehicle or truck “black box” data
- Mobile device data
- Accident reports or police reports
- …and more
Additionally, an attorney could employ the assistance of accident reconstruction experts who have experience piecing together complex cases and determining exactly what happened. An attorney will gather all of the evidence needed to prove negligence and then be ready to make their case to insurance carriers or even a jury in a personal injury trial.