Personal Injury: Proving Negligence

When it comes to personal injury cases, determining and proving negligence is an extremely important and challenging process. The Lauenstein Law Firm details how negligence is defined, determined, and successfully argued in personal injury cases.

Personal injury cases are built on the idea that if an individual is injured under circumstances for which another entity is responsible, that individual or company should be held accountable for their negligence. Negligence consists of any instance where a person or company acted—or failed to act—without regard to others. This negligence must have led to the injury or suffering of the victim for a personal injury case to have merit.

In personal injury cases, therefore, determining and successfully proving negligence is paramount. This negligence must be proven through the close examination of four factors: duty, breach, causation and damages.

Legal duty can be defined by the intended roles of each party in the situation that led to the injury. An example of legal duty would be a factory that fails to comply with safety standards, resulting in the injury of a factory worker. Proving duty involves successfully arguing that because of the injury the plaintiff has incurred, they are eligible to receive the duty originally owed them, plus any additional damages deemed appropriate.

Legal duty can also be determined by establishing the behaviors and practices the individuals were both expected to exhibit, given their situation at the time of the injury. A good example of this would be an accident involving two vehicles, during which one motorist was distracted and ran into the other motorist’s car.

By performing, or failing to perform, certain actions, the plaintiff can argue that the defendant failed to uphold the duty by which they were legally bound, resulting in a breach of duty. Comparing the actions of the defendant to the likely and appropriate actions of any average person in the same situation, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant decided to act, or not act, in a manner that was negligent.

To prove causation, the argument must be made that the negligent actions of the defendant led to the injury of the plaintiff. Proving this argument involves confirming that the injury incurred was a direct result of negligence on the part of the defendant. This portion of the plaintiff’s argument must also involve demonstrating that the defendant made choices, and the results of those choices had a direct and negative effect on the plaintiff.

The request for damages is the final piece of the plaintiff’s argument. A court will be asked to acknowledge that the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff to endure harm, and to award the plaintiff the appropriate compensation. Depending on each individual personal injury case, damages could be awarded in the form of monetary compensation as well as in the form of goods and services.

Successfully arguing a personal injury case through the utilization of this four-part argument is a challenging undertaking best left to an experienced professional. A seasoned personal injury attorney will be knowledgeable about the best way to handle your case, and will help to ensure that you are awarded the damages and compensation you deserve for your suffering.

If you would like to speak to an experienced personal injury law attorney about your personal injury case, contact the Lauenstein Law Firm today.