Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
What is negligence?
Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonably prudent care in protecting others from harm. Proving negligence is essential in personal injury claims, and a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you, managing the entire claims process on your behalf. There would need to be proof that a defendant had a duty of care toward the victim, that the defendant failed to act properly in accordance with that duty, and that this resulted in specific and provable injury to the victim.
There are a multitude of circumstances in which negligence can be grounds for personal injury claims, such as reckless driving which causes injuries to another. In this case, the driver would be negligent in their responsibility to operate their motor vehicle in a way that protects the safety of others to a reasonably prudent degree. There are many facets to this area of the law, all of which will benefit greatly from having legal representation on your side, assisting in the efforts being made to prove negligence in your case.
Crucial Elements to a Case
In the preparation of a case in which you will be declaring negligence as your legal claim, you will need to make sure that the following components are met:
Some cases involving claims of negligence will need to reflect that a duty was owed to the plaintiff who is now making the claim. Duties need to be cited and attended to legally when there is recognition from the law that a relationship existed between the plaintiff and the defendant in which the defendant was expected out of obligation to perform certain acts, deliver certain goods or provide in any way to the plaintiff. It is when a duty is breached that a claim of negligence can be made, for example when a doctor fails to perform the tests necessary to make an accurate diagnosis or a building owner neglects to properly maintain the building’s light fixtures causing a visitor to slip and fall.
Cause in Fact
Claims of negligence include clauses referred to as “but-fors.” Essentially, these are statements that read somewhat like this: “But for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff’s injury would cease to have existed.” It is these statements that will effectively prove the fault of defendant in the plaintiff’s injury / illness / emotional distress / etc.
Technically, a defendant can only be held responsible for acts of negligence that have been determined to be foreseeable causes of harm. This means that an act of neglect that in no way could have been expected to cause harm in any way, there is no way for a plaintiff to prove that proximate cause was related to the damages incurred.
Damages are the proven harms done to the plaintiff making the claim. Damages can take the form of physical injury, emotional distress or financial harm. The failure to exercise reasonable care is not sufficient in bringing about a claim of negligence. In addition, it must be established that the defendant caused tangible damages to a person who expected a certain level of care.
Before a negligence claim comes to completion in court, at least one of two type of evidence will need to be used as proof. The evidence brought to a case can be either direct or circumstantial. Specifically, direct evidence is that which is derived from a person’s knowledge / memory of the incident. Direct evidence can include photographic images, video documentation and personal statements. Circumstantial evidence, on the other hand, refers to inferences that are found based on the direct evidence that is produced.
Specific instances are court-governed as to what type of evidence will be acceptable in any given case. For example, premises liability claims citing negligence must provide qualifying evidence that the slip and fall injury was the direct result of undeniable owner negligence, perhaps through failure to put up warning signs of a slippery area or inattention to the matter entirely. No matter what the details of your case may be, having a reputable attorney on your side advocating on your behalf will prove to be invaluable to the outcome of your case.
How to Prove Fault in an Accident
The most basic way to hold a person or company responsible for an accident that result in illness or injury is through negligence. However, claiming neglect is not sufficient in filing a claim. In order to obtain compensation for the harm done to you, you and your attorney will need to prove that negligence was at fault for the accident that left you injured, ill and / or your property damaged. Generally speaking, this is accomplished by first establishing that a duty was legally owed to you and then proving that said duty was not delivered to you in the manner expected or at all. The final steps in your process will be demonstrating to a judge and jury that the failure to deliver or act appropriately directly caused an accident that resulted in harm to you or a loved one.
The actions described above will need to be made within the legal arena and should not be completed without first obtaining the direction and representation of a legal professional in the field of personal injury law. Claims of this nature are taken much more seriously and stand a much better chance at successful recovery of compensation when they are assisted by an attorney, making it imperative that you do not wait to contact Kim Injury Law, P.C. for the legal help you both need and deserve when attempting to prove negligence in an injury accident in Atlanta, Georgia.