There are many different aspects to a personal injury case, but the most important one is proving that the guilty party was at fault for the incident that caused the injury. Or more specifically, proving that their negligence was the reason that the personal injury occurred. That is because negligence is the basis of all personal injuries.
In order for a personal injury lawsuit to be successful, the attorney representing the victim must prove that the other party was at fault. They must also prove that the damages—which are expenses related to the injury—were caused by the accident. In some cases, proving these is fairly simple, but in others, it can get complicated.
Regardless of the nature of the personal injury lawsuit, an experienced attorney is the best chance of a positive outcome. You can contact Fasig and Brooks attorneys for help with their cases. Continue reading to learn how he and other personal injury lawyers prove fault and damages in personal injury lawsuits.
Proving Negligence In A Personal Injury Case
A person filing a personal injury lawsuit must prove that the defendant was at fault, which means proving that they were negligent. Negligence is described as the behavior that falls beneath the standard of care expected of a reasonable person.
In other words, an action that is careless or irrational—but not necessarily malicious—that causes harm to another. That is relatively straightforward, but some legal aspects need to be proven before negligence can be established. They are as follows:
Duty of Care – This is defined as a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner owed to the victim by the defendant. In general terms, every person has a duty of care to everyone else. For example, a driver owes a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians by obeying the rules of the road and not driving in a reckless manner that is likely to cause harm.
Breach of Duty – If someone fails to follow the duty of care, then it is called a breach of duty. This occurs when a person fails to act reasonably. Following the vehicular example above, a breach of duty would be if a driver ignored a stop sign because they were not paying attention.
Causation – This means that the defendant caused the injuries of the victim due to their breach of duty. This is usually easy to prove, but the insurance company of the perpetrator will sometimes try to claim that the injury of the victim occurred prior to the incident that caused it.
Damages – These are the monetary expenses incurred by the victim because of their personal injury. They can include medical bills, damage to property, lost wages, and other expenses related to the injury.
Proving all of these elements of a personal injury case requires a lot of investigative work on the part of the personal injury attorney. They will need to collect evidence, examine insurance reports, observe the accident scene, and in some cases, consult with experts. It is all necessary to make a personal injury lawsuit as airtight as possible.
Determining Damages In A Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are three different types of damages that are available to victims in a personal injury lawsuit: damages for economic loss, damages for non-economic loss, punitive damages. The first two are called compensatory damages.
Your personal injury lawyer must prove that these damages were caused by the negligence of the defendant. That is because proof of damages is necessary to establish your case, and it also helps to increase your compensation.
Damages For Economic Loss
This type of damages is easy to understand because it has a clear monetary value that is easy to catalog. It can include expenses like the following:
- Medical bills
- Repair bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages due to missing work
- Loss of future earnings because the injury has rendered you permanently unable to work
Damages For Non-Economic Loss
These damages are more subjective because there is not a tangible financial loss that can be attributed to them. Nonetheless, they are important because they account for the victim’s mental health and wellbeing, which can also be affected by personal injury. They can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Maiming, physical impairment, or disfigurement
These are used to punish defendants who act in a particularly egregious manner. They are only awarded in exceptional circumstances where the defendant’s conduct was especially malicious, fraudulent, or reckless. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages, but they are only awarded in cases where the defendant is capable of paying.
Hire An Attorney To Help You Prove Fault In Your Personal Injury Case
Since proving fault is such an important part of any personal injury case, it is vitally important to hire an experienced attorney to help you do that. It is not a quick or easy process but it is an important one if you want to maximize the compensation for your damages. Your personal injury lawyer will make sure that all of your damages are accounted for in the lawsuit so that successful completion of the case will leave you with the compensation that you need.
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