Proving negligence for a personal injury claim

A successful personal injury claim can help to provide financial and emotional peace after a serious accident. However, there are certain elements the claim must include in order to obtain a favorable verdict.

One of the most essential aspects of a personal injury claim is the proof of negligence. Claimants should be aware of a few key facts regarding this claim aspect.

Definition of negligence

Negligence occurs when a party does not exercise the right level of care that a prudent person would exercise in the same situation. For example, there are laws that drivers must follow, and a prudent driver does abide by those set laws. However, if a driver breaks the law and causes an auto accident, that driver's lack of proper care makes him or her negligent. It is important to note that while in many cases negligence involves parties taking certain wrong actions, it may also include parties not fulfilling certain actions or omitting certain information.

Staying within the parameters

Along with establishing negligence in a personal injury case, parties must also stay within other parameters for a valid claim. That includes filing the claim within the statute of limitations. In regards to personal injury claims, parties must generally file their claims within three years of the accident's occurrence. While this is true in most scenarios, there may be certain instances when this may vary, such as if the person does not discover the injury until after the initial statutory time frame has passed.

Proof process

 The negligence proof process involves four assertions:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care.
  2. The defendant did not uphold that duty.
  3. The lack of care resulted in harm to the claimant.
  4. The claimant has suffered damages as a result of the harm.

When parties can make these assertions and support them properly, they can increase their chances of successfully arguing their claim. 

Having and presenting the right evidence is key in proving negligence. Whenever possible, parties should begin collecting evidence beginning at the scene of an accident.

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