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5 Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

When someone fails to act within their standard of care and creates a situation that causes harm to another individual, they are considered to have acted in negligence.

Thus, when solving a personal injury case, the victim bears the burden of proof, where they’re required to demonstrate how the defendant’s actions resulted in their harm.

Establishing fault in an accident is usually manageable as long as the right evidence is available. Besides, this can be made easier when you hire a competent personal injury lawyer.

A personal injury attorney from a law firm in Lakeland, Florida suggests “The most fundamental part of filing a personal injury claim is being able to prove negligence and fault of the other party in an accident.”

To better understand this directive, let’s take a look at the basic elements of negligence.

What Are the Elements of Negligence?

1. Duty: It should be considered whether the defendant owed you any duty. Some relationships require a person to act in a certain way towards other people.

For instance, a driver must follow road safety guidelines to protect other drivers from harm; therefore, each driver owes a duty of care to all other drivers on the road.

In a personal injury case, if it is determined that the defendant owes a duty to the plaintiff, then the first element of negligence is established.

2. Breach of Duty: After determining the duty owed by the defendant, you can now identify how that duty was breached. By failing to act responsibly and according to road safety guidelines, an at-fault driver is found to have breached their duty of care towards an accident victim.

The second element is established when the defendant is found responsible for the actions that led to the accident.

3. Cause in Fact: At this point, you need to prove that the damages suffered result from the defendant’s actions. Did the defendant’s actions lead to the injuring and suffering of the plaintiff? If so, then the third element is established.

It is assumed that had it not been for the way the defendant acted, then you would not have been harmed.

4. Proximate Cause: In some cases, you are required to establish the defendant’s legal responsibility by directly linking them to the cause of harm. It is determined that the actions that led to the accident would have been foreseen before the outcome, thus prevented. The defendant can only be held liable for such direct causations.

This means if you sustain any more injuries while in transportation to the hospital, these injuries cannot be linked to the initial causation even though it is the defendant’s actions that led to the need for an ambulance.

5. Damages: The last element you need to establish in any personal injury law is damage resulting from the actions of the defendant. You need to determine that you have been subjected to several losses because the defendant failed in exercising their duty of care.

For legal negligence to be established, there has to be harm or damages suffered from the events. You can prove this by providing medical records, car repair receipts, income records to prove lost wages, and any other evidence demonstrating the losses you incurred due to the accident.

Establishing Liability Requires Proof

Without establishing the above elements, a personal injury claim may not hold merit in court. Therefore you must understand all that is required from a plaintiff to present a viable case to seek compensation. Having a personal injury lawyer by your side makes the process easier.