Some accidents are simply accidents. However, some accidents occur as a result of the negligence of another party. In such situations, the party at fault may be required to compensate the victims of the accident. Seems pretty straightforward, right? The challenge arises in proving negligence.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Prove Negligence
Many people assume that personal injury cases are simple until they begin the claims process. Many find that their claims are denied even for legitimate cases.
Personal injury lawyers are vital for the success of negligence claims. Lawyers work on behalf of their clients to gather evidence and prove negligence. They represent the victims every step of the way to ensure that they receive just compensation for their injuries and any other damages.
One of the main duties of a personal injury lawyer is to establish liability. Lawyers gather and examine evidence to determine liability. This evidence may include police reports, witness testimony, accident reconstruction reports, medical records and photos of the accident scene or injuries.
Lawyers consider various factors including:
- Duty of care
Everyone has a duty of care toward other people with whom they interact. Among other things, this includes the obligation not to cause injury to another person. The duty of care is the core element in any personal injury case. If one party breaches the duty of care by acting recklessly or even through common negligence and that breach causes injury to another person, it can result in liability.
- Breaching duty of care
Having determined the duty of care for each party, lawyers will then consider the evidence to determine whether there was a breach of that duty. A breach of the duty of care will be considered negligence e.g. texting while driving or exceeding the speed limit is considered a breach of the duty of care and therefore constitutes negligence.
- Determining causation
The fact that the other party breached their duty of care doesn’t necessarily mean that they are responsible for your injuries. The lawyer has to prove that your injuries were caused as a result of the other party’s negligent actions. For example, if an uneven slab on the sidewalk leading to a person’s house caused you to trip and fall while entering or exiting the house and that fall resulted in a broken ankle, your lawyer should be able to establish causation.
- The damages
The lawyer will then examine the extent of the damages. ‘Damages’ is a term used to refer to the emotional and physical injuries, income lost and property damage you suffered as a result of the accident. Your medical expenses as well as lost wages are big factors in this calculation. However, there are other factors at play and an experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify all of your damages. This knowledge will enable your attorney to negotiate for a specific amount of money as compensation for your injuries.
Having an experienced attorney in your corner helps to make the claims process much easier. Your lawyer will help to prove liability and ensure that you receive a fair settlement.