Establishing liability is the key to recovering compensation in a personal injury case. But unfortunately, proving liability is not as easy as it may seem. Here’s what you need to know to prove fault in your personal injury case:
The Legal Theory of Negligence
Most personal injury cases are negligence claims, which means the victim alleges that they were injured as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In cases like these, the victim proves fault by showing that there is a link between the defendant’s negligence and their injuries.
The Elements That Must Be Proven in Negligence Claims
In order to win a negligence case—and recover compensation—the victim must show that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care.
- The defendant breached the duty by acting in a way that a reasonable person would not have acted in the same situation.
- The plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
For example, let’s say you are injured in a car accident caused by a reckless driver. All drivers owe a legal duty of care to other drivers. This means that all drivers are obligated to obey the traffic laws, drive responsibly, and avoid putting other drivers in danger. If the defendant was driving recklessly, he clearly was not obeying the traffic laws. Reasonable drivers would obey these laws under similar circumstances. Therefore, the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by failing to act in a way that a reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances.
This breach—the defendant’s reckless driving—caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. As a result, the defendant must compensate the plaintiff since there is a clear link between the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s injuries.
What Types of Evidence Are Used to Prove Negligence?
Many types of evidence are used to prove liability in personal injury cases, including:
- Expert witness testimony
- Photographs from the scene of the accident
- Surveillance camera footage
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Accident reconstruction
Each personal injury claim is unique, so the types of evidence that are used to prove liability will vary on a case-by-case basis. Your attorney will know which pieces of evidence you will need in order to build the strongest case against the defendant possible.
Have you been injured? If so, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from experienced attorney Martin Gasparian right away. Mr. Gasparian is committed to helping victims hold negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused. Schedule a free consultation regarding your case by calling 559-203-3333 or submitting your information at MaisonLaw.com.