A personal injury accident is when someone is injured or dies due to the negligence of another party. These accidents have the power to impact a person for the rest of their life. Because of this, those who are injured in accidents due to negligence can hold that party responsible for their behavior. They can do so through a personal injury lawsuit. When this is done, the injured party is responsible for proving this negligence by satisfying the burden of proof. This requires them to show the defendant breached their obligation to provide a duty of care and that this breach was the direct cause of their injuries.
When a person has a duty of care to another, they are obligated to provide a standard of care for them. This care can either be express or implied. Regardless of which it is, the injured party must prove it existed. This can be done through the following steps:
Proving A Duty of Care Existed
In order to prove a duty of care existed, the injured party must understand how the accident happened and why the other party is liable. In the event that the accident occurred due to hazardous property conditions, the property owner may be liable. Property owners are legally obligated to keep their property safe. If they fail to do so and someone becomes hurt, they can be held responsible. This is done through premises liability laws.
There are other situations in which an accident occurs because of a defective product. When a product is made incorrectly, it can malfunction and cause harm to the person using it. If a manufacturer produced and sold a faulty product that injures someone, they may be held responsible. This is done through product liability laws.
Prove the Duty of Care Was Breached
Once the injured proves the other party had a duty of care, the next step is to show how the duty was breached. This can be done through the following evidence:
- Incident reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert witness testimony
- Surveillance footage
- Chemical test results
- Pictures or videos of the scene
After proving how the duty was breached, the individuals and their attorneys must show that the breach of duty is what caused the accident, thus leading to their injuries. This is an important part in holding the negligent party responsible for their actions. To do so, the injured party must show how the accident took place in addition to how the damages, injuries, and losses happened as a result of it.
When a case is successful and the injured party proves negligence, they may be eligible to receive financial compensation. This covers any traumas they experienced as a result of the accident, allowing them to recover from the incident without worrying about affording added expenses. To receive compensation, the injured party must prove damages happened due to the negligence. Damages that may be recovered after an accident can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits
- The loss of future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Court costs
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