How Do You Prove Negligence in an Injury Case?
If you are injured by someone else and plan to file a personal injury case, it will likely involve negligence in some way.
As an accident victim, it’s important to understand what negligence is.
Negligence refers to the concept that the person who caused the accident you were in owed you some level of care. The accident and your resulting injuries were caused because the person didn’t exercise the required level of care. Negligence also involves showing that you experienced some type of damage (i.e., money lost).
Understanding certain concepts are important if you are involved in this type of situation. These concepts include:
- How do you prove negligence in an injury case?
- Is it hard to prove negligence?
- How is negligence determined?
Keep reading to find all the answers to these questions and more.
Why Is It So Important to Prove Negligence?
For personal injury cases, it’s not about what you say happened; instead, it’s about what you can do to prove your case. If you don’t have sufficient evidence to prove your story, then it’s like it didn’t happen . . . at least in the eyes of the legal system.
This is the reason it is so important to prove fault. No insurance company wants to make a payment based just on someone’s story that they were harmed.
Personal Injury Claims and the Burden of Proof
If you are trying to prove that someone breached their duty of care and that this resulted in injuries and damages, you must have evidence. Evidence shows that your injury happened the way you said it did and that someone else is responsible.
Compared to criminal law cases, this is considered a lower standard. In criminal cases, it’s up to the prosecution to prove the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
While there’s a lower standard, it’s necessary to ensure you have sufficient evidence to show that the legal duty a defendant had was breached.
Judgment of the Defendant’s Actions
The standard used to determine whether the defendant is at fault for your injury compares what they did (their actions) to what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation.
It’s necessary to argue what a responsible individual would do in similar situations and then compare those actions to what the defendant did in the case.
With this legal principle, it’s necessary to show that the defendant did not uphold their duty of care because their actions were considered unreasonable compared to what a “normal person” would do. You must show that a reasonable person would have acted differently.
The Position of the Defendant in Your Personal Injury Case
The position of the defendant in any negligence case is that they showed a level of care that was expected of them. They would also make the argument they did not do what you have claimed.
On the other hand, the individual may admit what they did and what you have accused them of but may claim they did not breach their duty. If you have solid evidence, it means that you have more than a case of “he said, she said.”
Type of Evidence That Can be Used to Prove Negligence in Your Personal Injury Claim
Now that you know more about negligence and how it is used in personal injury cases, it’s time to move on to the next step – proving negligence. To do this, you must gather proof of what the defendant did.
You need to provide the insurance adjuster, judge, or jury with proof of what happened to you.
In a slip and fall claim, for example, you need to provide proof that shows what the conditions were like when your accident and injury took place.
For claims that involve a car accident, you must have proof of what the driver was doing when the accident occurred. This includes things like using their phone, making an illegal turn, speeding, or something else that resulted in the accident.
Considering What a “Reasonable” Person Would Do in the Same Situation
The legal obligation of a defendant is not to provide a guarantee for your personal safety or to prevent any potential accident that may occur. However, they are required to exercise a certain level of care.
It’s important that you (with the help of your personal injury lawyer) show how their actions differed from what a reasonable individual would do. An example of this can be seen in medical malpractice cases.
Some of the evidence that is used in these cases include showing what another doctor would have done or the actions they would take in a similar situation. At this point, it’s your lawyer’s job to create a comparison that shows how and where the doctor did not achieve this level of care.
For a car accident case, reasonable drivers must follow all “rules of the road,” which include driving safely and not exceeding the set speed limit.
When it comes to presenting evidence in a personal injury case, it is all about showing that the duty of care was breached rather than showing that the person had a duty to you. Most drivers are presumed to have a duty of care to every other driver who is on the road.
Types of Evidence That May be Beneficial in Your Personal Injury Claim
Some of the types of evidence that you may be able to use to help prove fault in your personal injury case includes:
- Pictures that show dangerous or hazardous conditions
- Testimony from witnesses
- Video surveillance
- Records and maintenance logs.
Proving Fault and Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
As you can see, proving negligence in a personal injury claim can be complex. Because of this, it is recommended that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Doing this will help ensure that you get the quality representation you need and gather the necessary evidence to prove your case. For more information, get in touch with our personal injury lawyers at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law by calling (651) 259-1113. We can help you with your case and prove negligence.