Negligence is a major consideration in any personal injury claim. Although it is nearly impossible to avoid getting injured in some way, it is also difficult to show that another party intentionally contributed to your injuries. A thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your accident and the parties involved in handling the situation can help determine whether one party was at fault for the injuries. The significance of proving negligence cannot be overstated. Even with years of trial experience, a lawyer must feel their way through every possible contingency in order to correctly judge the case. A variety of factors must be considered when determining whether a party was careless. Here is a discussion of elements of negligence that can help narrow the process to determine negligence in personal injury claims.
Determine the Existence of the Duty of Care
The outcome of negligence depends on whether the defendant owed the duty of care to the plaintiff. The law does not require people to help everyone, but only if the relationship between the parties involved requires one party to provide some degree of responsibility for the other. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care. For example, a property owner has the duty to make sure their premises are safe for visitors, while the doctor has to provide care to the patient that meets the medical standard.
Identify if There Was a Breach of the Duty of Care.
Once the duty of care has been established, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty. The plaintiff has to show that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have acted in similar circumstances. For example, a reasonable person would not put a dangerous object on the floor in a place where people are likely to trip over it. If someone does, and a person gets hurt, they have breached their duty of care.
Determine if the Breach Caused Injury or Damages
The plaintiff must also prove that the breach caused the injury or damages. The plaintiff has to show that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of their injuries and that the proximate cause is the main reason for the injury. It must be a direct result of the breach, and it must have been reasonably foreseeable that the breach would cause such an injury.
Determine the Existence of Comparative Negligence
The court will also consider the existence of comparative negligence elements in the case. This entails looking whether any other factors contributed to the injury. If the involvement of a third factor is detected, the court decides the responsibility each person or entity has for the injury. For example, if you trip over something on someone else’s property and break your leg, but you were not paying attention to where you were walking, the court may decide that you are partially responsible for the injury. The court will then decide how much money to award the plaintiff based on their level of responsibility.