Building a case against someone for negligence in a personal injury claim is not always easy. However, across the United States, negligence is the leading cause of injuries in car accidents, slips, and falls, medical errors, defective products, etc. Proving negligence is not easy because you need to show these five elements that occurred to cause the damage or injury.
Definition of Negligence
The legal theory of negligence is that you can only hold someone legally responsible for damages if you can prove that they acted carelessly. Therefore, in court, you must effectively demonstrate these five things: duty, breach, causation, proximate cause, and harm.
Generally speaking, the person acting “carelessly” is liable for the resulting harm. Negligence is the principle used in all types of personal injury cases, whether a negotiated settlement or one that goes to trial.
5 Elements of Negligence
Breaking done the five elements of negligence:
Duty: You must prove the defendant had a duty of care to prevent the cause of your injury.
Breach: You must prove a violation of standard care caused the damage or injury.
Causation: You must prove a correlation between negligence and the consequences.
Proximate cause: You must prove a direct link between the negligent act and the damage.
Harm: You must prove that the incident caused by someone else’s negligence resulted in your injuries, financial loss, and emotional pain. It could even be only one of these.
Why is negligence hard to prove?
These five reasons can make it hard for you to prove negligence:
1. Not establishing a duty of care
Always get an experienced personal injury lawyer because it is not always easy to establish a duty of care. Proving duty of care can be onerous and needs a lot of research because of the absence of relevant or very vague laws. Your lawyer might decide to call in an expert witness to testify how the person responsible for your injuries violated the expected standards.
2. Proving breach and causation
Your lawyer needs to provide evidence of a breach of care by getting a confession from the responsible party or calling for eyewitness testimony proving it. Proving the breach is significant and means that you must verify the negligent act, whether it was someone texting while driving, malfunctioning equipment because of failure to service, etc.
After demonstrating the duty owed to you by the defendant and the breach, your lawyer must show that it caused your injury or damage.
3. Documentation of injuries
Your lawyer must prove that your injuries were a direct cause of the defendant’s breach of duty. However, to prove this, you need to document your injuries from the start. If you haven’t needed to call 911 after an incident, neglecting to get medical attention can make it very difficult to prove that the incident caused the injuries. Make sure you have detailed notes about the types of injuries, their severity, recovery time, and the long-term effects.
4. Potential negligence from you
You risk receiving less compensation if the other party can prove you played a part in causing the accident. In cases where the plaintiff has anything over 50% of the responsibility, they cannot seek personal injury.
Therefore, you must never speak to anyone about your accident; otherwise, you risk saying something that can be used against you later on. Insurers are known for using questioning tactics that may negatively influence your claim.
5. Not tracking financial damages
Never fail to document all the financial damages incurred by the incident. Include everything from medical billing to other out-of-pocket expenses like travel, parking, medicines, etc.
Don’t fail to track all the income you lost because of the incident. Proving potential earning, primarily if you work on a commission basis or odd jobs, can be difficult, but you must seek compensation for this too.
Don’t fail to receive the compensation you deserve by neglecting to prove negligence. Make sure to collect all the documents, witness accounts and get an excellent personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer knows how crucial proving negligence is to your case and how to go about proving it.