Negligence and Liability: Establishing Fault in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits are filed by people who say they’ve suffered some kind of harm or injury as a result of the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity. The goal in filing this type of claim is to force the other party to provide compensation for the harm that the individual has suffered, but success only comes when the injured party has proven their case.

Not every personal injury claim results in a plaintiff win. The ones that do successfully demonstrate either negligence or liability. If you are considering filing a claim, it’s important for you to understand what your attorney will need to establish that the defendant is at fault for your injury.

Many personal injury claims accuse the defendant of negligence. This refers to them failing to act in a way that meets the standard of care expected by a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances. To prove this, your attorney will first need to establish what a reasonable person would do – in other words, to show the jury what the duty of care is. After explaining this, the next natural steps are to show that the defendant failed in that duty and that their failure resulted in your injury or the harm that you suffered. This is what is known in legal terms as a liability. It means that the other party is responsible – whether as a result of their actions or their lack of action – for the injury that you suffered.

With that information established, the only thing left for your attorney to do will be to provide information on exactly what damage or harm you’ve suffered in monetary terms and then ask the jury to agree to order the defendant to pay you that amount.

While this all sounds simple, it can be extremely complex depending on the particulars of your injury and how it occurred. Your attorney will need to gather evidence in support of your position. The type of evidence needed will depend on your situation: if you were injured in an auto accident it may involve gathering a police report or witness statements about what happened. In the case of a slip and fall accident, you may take photographs of the environment at the time of your accident, especially if the conditions were clearly in need of maintenance. A medical malpractice case will require expert witness testimony to establish what another physician would do in the same conditions as the ones faced by the doctor being sued.

No matter the circumstance, the first step in pursuing a personal injury claim is to seek guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney to have them assess whether you are eligible to file a claim or not. To set up a free meeting with one of our lawyers, call our office today.