Accidents happen all the time. If you are hurt as a result of another person’s mistake, you may be eligible for compensation for your damages. However, pretty much every personal injury case involves the legal concept of negligence.
Negligence is the idea that an accident and your injuries were caused by another party and that they were, at least in part, avoidable. To prove that someone was guilty of negligence you must show three things:
You were owed a duty of care
As already mentioned, you must begin by proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care. This usually means that both you and the defendant had a relationship that required the defendant to act in a manner that safeguarded your safety. For instance:
- Every motorist has a duty to operate their vehicle safely
- Every property owner has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for guests
- Every doctor has a duty to give their patients a certain standard of treatment
Someone’s duty of care to another is largely based on the circumstances.
The duty of care was breached
Next, you must prove that the defendant breached their duty of reasonable care towards you. In other words, you must prove that the defendant acted in total disregard for your safety. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, a breach of duty may include:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to control a pet in a public area
- Treating a patient while intoxicated
The breach of duty resulted in specific damages
Finally, you must prove that the defendant’s breach resulted in specific losses or damages. Most often, these losses stem from physical and emotional injuries occasioned by the accident. Losses may include the following:
- Medical treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income/income potential
Have you suffered injury as a result of someone else’s mistakes? To hold the other party accountable, you must prove these crucial elements of negligence so you can build a successful case and receive the compensation you deserve.