What Is Negligence in Personal Injury Claims?
Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances. In order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim, you will need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care and that you suffered injuries as a result of that breach. Depending on the circumstances of your case, different types of evidence may be used to establish these elements.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident, the police report, eyewitness testimony, and photos or videos of the accident scene may be used to show that the other driver breached their duty of care by driving recklessly. Your medical records will be used to establish the extent of your injuries.
What Are The Different Types of Negligence?
There are four different types of negligence that can be cited in a personal injury claim: contributory, comparative, gross, and vicarious. Here is a brief overview of each:
1. Contributory negligence occurs when the plaintiff (the injured party) is partially at fault for their own injuries. This may be the case if the plaintiff was not paying attention and thus walked into oncoming traffic, or if they were not wearing a seatbelt and were ejected from their car during an accident. In some states, contributory negligence may completely bar the plaintiff from receiving any compensation; in others, it may simply reduce the number of damages that they are able to collect.
2. Comparative negligence compares the plaintiff’s negligence to that of the defendant (the person or entity being sued). In states with this rule, the plaintiff can still recover damages as long as their negligence was not greater than the defendants. The number of damages they are able to collect will be reduced by their degree of fault.
3. Gross negligence is a higher standard than ordinary negligence and requires that the defendant acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others. This is often difficult to prove but can result in punitive damages being awarded in addition to any compensatory damages.
4. Vicarious liability occurs when one person is held liable for the actions of another. This may be the case when an employer is held responsible for the negligent actions of an employee, or when a parent is held responsible for the negligent actions of a child.
How To Prove Negligence In A Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be wondering if you have a personal injury claim. In order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim, there are four elements that must be met: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
1. Duty: The first step is to establish that the defendant (the person or entity being sued) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the injured party). This means that the defendant had a responsibility to act in a certain way to avoid harming the plaintiff. For example, all drivers owe other motorists on the road a duty of care to drive safely.
2. Breach: The second element is proving that the defendant breached their duty of care. This means that the defendant did not act in the way that they were supposed to and as a result, the plaintiff was harmed. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits another car, they have breached their duty of care.
3. Causation: The third element is causation, which means that the defendant’s actions must have directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. This can be proven by showing that but for the defendant’s actions, the accident would not have happened and the plaintiff would not have been injured.
4. Damages: The fourth and final element is damage, which means that the plaintiff must have suffered some type of loss as a result of the accident. This could be physical injuries, property damage, or even emotional distress.
If you can prove all four of these elements, then you may have a successful personal injury claim. However, it’s important to keep in mind that each case is different and the specific facts of your case will determine whether or not you have a valid claim. If you’re unsure whether or not you have a claim, it’s always best to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action. The Dashner Law Firm is here to help you with your personal injury claim – contact a personal injury attorney in Irving, TX today at 817-587-9528 for a free consultation.