Whether it is the result of a car wreck, a slip and fall accident, a dog bite or medical malpractice, an injury can ruin your life. If you have reason to believe that someone else’s actions or inaction is responsible for your predicament, you may seek restitution for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
However, to win your claim, you must prove that the other party was indeed negligent. Here are the four questions you will need to answer to prove negligence in your personal injury lawsuit:
Did the defendant owe you any duty of care?
This is the first element of negligence in any personal injury lawsuit. The party who is responsible for your injury must legally owe you a duty of care. In other words, they were expected to act in a manner that does not endanger anybody’s life.
For instance, every motorist is expected to operate their vehicle in a manner that does not subject other road users to the risk of an accident. Likewise, a dog owner is expected to handle their pet in a manner that does not expose others to the risk of attack.
Did the defendant breach their duty of care towards you?
Next, you will need to prove that the defendant’s conduct fell short of the acceptable level of care in your situation. For instance, the motorist may have been intoxicated at the time of the accident or a dog owner may have failed to restrain their pet on a leash.
Did this breach of duty result in your injury?
You must find a link between the defendant’s failure to exercise their duty of care and your injury. This is known as causation. For example, you may argue that by driving while drunk, the defendant caused an accident that resulted in your injury.
Did you suffer any damages?
This is the last element of negligence. Here, you will be required to provide proof of the injuries you sustained as well as any other loss. You will need a medical report to prove the extent of your injuries as well as proof of lost income if you missed work to recover from your injuries.
Accidents happen unannounced. Knowing how to prove negligence is key to winning your personal injury claim and getting the compensation you deserve.