Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been personally injured as a result of any type of accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation through a personal injury case. Your eligibility for compensation in a personal injury claim depends on whether or not the other party was at fault for causing your injuries. This is almost always predicated on a finding of “negligence.”
What Does Negligence Mean?
When accidents happen, it is usually because someone acted negligently. This means that someone’s failure to exercise due care when a legal duty requires them to do so. In other words, if the accident could have been prevented by more proper conduct, then there may be legal liability. For example, a business who fails to repair a broken step could be found negligent if a customer is injured if the step collapses under the customer’s weight, if the business was aware (actually or constructively) that the step was broken. Likewise, if a speeding driver loses control of his car and crashes into you, he can be found negligent for causing your injuries and property damage.
Whether or not some acted negligently is measured against how a reasonable person would act in similar circumstances. If it was foreseeable to a business owner that a customer would be injured by failing to repair the step, or at least warn customers about it, that would be unreasonable for the business to not take action. On the other hand, if the break in the stair was plainly obvious, the appearance of the stair by itself is enough to satisfy the business owner’s duty, and there will not be liability on the part of the business. Similarly, if the speeding driver fails to slow down as he enters a school zone, his conduct could be deemed reckless, and he may be subject to punitive damages as a result.
Why Does Negligence Have to Be Proven in a Personal Injury Case?
Some accidents are true accidents, meaning no one is at fault for causing it, while some are the fault of others. For a personal injury case, you need to prove your accident was someone else’s fault. If you are seeking compensation, you need to prove that the other party failed to fulfill their legal obligation to prevent injuries to others, and that is why they need to be held financially responsible. In order to have a personal injury case, you need to prove that the other party owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, and you were injured as a result of that breach. You are obligated to prove each element by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) in order to obtain compensation for your injuries.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
Proving negligence can be tricky, even if it seems obvious to you. You will need to obtain evidence to prove each element of negligence, causation, and damages. The evidence varies depending on the type of personal injury case. Your attorney will work to gather the evidence that is needed, and then negotiate on your behalf to try to settle the claim. In the process he or she will help you understand the legal proceeding, advise you on what to do, and guide you as to what to expect. When you hire a personal injury lawyer with experience in cases like yours, you will likely get a fair settlement, faster.
Gathering evidence and putting forth a compensation claim can be overwhelming. Some cases may seem straightforward when they are anything but. They can also seem complicated, but a good injury lawyer can make them simple. To ensure you get a fair settlement, you’ll want to have an attorney who knows exactly what they need to do to prove that the other party was negligent. If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Arthur Law Firm right away (419) 782-9881 for a free consultation to discuss your case. You’re already going through enough. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.