Elements of a Negligence Case
Have you been injured in an accident and feel that a specific defendant was responsible for your injuries through their own negligence? If so, they could be found liable in court. However, first, you will need to prove all the elements of a negligence case. The elements involved in a case typically include Duty, Breach of Duty, Cause in Fact, Proximate Cause, and Damages. What do each of these entail?
Was a duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant? A judge will typically assess whether or not there was by finding if one existed under the given set of circumstances involved in the case.
Breach of Duty
The defendant will be found liable for negligence when they breach the duty that the defendant owes to the plaintiff. They breach the duty when they fail to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling their duty.
Cause in Fact
A plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions actually caused the plaintiff’s injury, which is often referred to as “but-for” causation. This means, if the defendant’s actions hadn’t occurred, then the plaintiff’s injury would not have occurred either.
This relates to the scope of a defendant’s responsibility in a negligence case. The defendant involved in a negligence case is only responsible for those harms that the defendant could have foreseen through his or her actions. If a defendant had caused damages that are outside the scope of the risks that the defendant could have foreseen, then the plaintiff cannot prove that these actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s overall damages.
Damages are a very vital part of a negligence case. They are used and intended to ‘make the plaintiff whole’ after an injury takes place, even if it is quite complex and difficult to put a dollar figure on things like pain and suffering. The types of damages that one may receive in a case can greatly vary depending on the type of case, circumstances involved, and the laws of the state. However, they generally include things like compensation for the cost of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even sometimes punitive. The goal of damages usually always remains the same: They are used to best put the injured person back into the position he or she would have been in if the injury had not occurred.
The last step is actually filing and going forth with a negligence claim. You may find yourself confident that the steps and elements involved in a claim are definitely present and you want to go forth with these actions. However, it never hurts to have a skilled lawyer on your side to make a compelling case and argument and ultimately win for you. You are entitled to compensation that you deserve. Call MDL today and schedule a free consultation so that you can speak to an experienced attorney about your possible case. They will be able to answer any and all questions you may have.