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What Do You Mean By Proof Of Negligence In Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal Injury


You cannot hold a person in contempt if you don’t have enough evidence to charge the person. This evidence is called the ‘proof of negligence.’ 

If you lodge a personal injury lawsuit, the Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C | Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys can be helpful. They have decades of experience in handling such cases no matter how tough the circumstances are.

If you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit against someone, you need to prove four elements in the eyes of law such as:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damage

You need to assess and determine whose fault it is during settlement talks and during a trial in the lawsuit. If you need more info on the ‘proof of negligence,’ stay tuned with us.

What Are The Elements Of A Negligence Claim?

The plaintiff must prove four elements in the eyes of law to win the negligence claim and as we have mentioned before those elements are: duty, breach, causation, and damage.

  1. Duty indicates the responsibility the defendant owes to the plaintiff under such circumstances.
  2. Breach indicates how the defendant breached the legal duty by acting in a certain way that he shouldn’t have.
  3. Causation means it was the defendant’s actions that caused such harm to the plaintiff.
  4. Damages indicate the extent of harm the plaintiff has suffered. It may be a minor injury such as a dog bite or could be something major such as a brain hemorrhage due to a severe car accident.

Duty: Element 1

To collect the proof of negligence, you must show proof of the duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff in the first place. 

Under certain circumstances, the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant may create a legal duty. 

For example, if a doctor misdiagnosed a patient and that heightens some health issues in the plaintiff’s life, it automatically becomes proof of negligence that criminalizes the doctor. 

Another incident could be if a motor vehicle instructor doesn’t instruct the driver properly on how to change lanes and the person comes across an accident while doing so. It also shows a violation of duty on the defendant’s part.

Breach: Element 2

Talking about the violation, the next element in the proof of negligence circumstance is a breach. 

Once the court finds out how the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, it will try to focus on how the defendant breached his duty. 

Although the damages should be treated as proof that it was the defendant’s fault, it doesn’t. A responsible person can also make mistakes but how he acts afterward when the damage is done, proves the breach of duty or otherwise. 

For example, if the motor vehicle instructor doesn’t take the plaintiff to the hospital after coming across the accident, it will be treated as a ‘breach of duty.’

Causation: Element 3

Now, the plaintiff has to prove that the damages he has suffered were caused by the defendant’s actions. Anyone can act negligently but the plaintiff’s accusation only stands if that negligence is responsible for his damages. 

For example, if a driver texts while driving and there’s a fender bender happening on the other side of the street, it would make the driver who’s texting, negligent. 

However, it won’t make him negligent for the damage that has been caused. 

On the other hand, if the defendant could have anticipated the injury, and still didn’t do anything, that also makes him responsible for the damages.

Damages: Element 4

Last but not least, the damages speak for themselves. 

If the damage is external, it is obvious that the plaintiff has suffered an injury but if it is internal, he has to submit medical proof to prove his injuries are real and were caused by the defendant’s negligence. 

The extent of damage doesn’t matter so much in establishing the proof of negligence because if it was the defendant’s actions that caused the damage, he is guilty.

Now, the extent of the damage may only matter to deciding the compensation amount. 

For example, if it was a dog bite that prevented the plaintiff from attending the office for a week, the compensation amount would be set accordingly, and it would be small. 

But, if it was a car accident that prevented the plaintiff from attending the office for months and spending many days in the hospital, the compensation for the damage would be pretty large.

How Do You Prove Negligence?

You can prove negligence with little evidence or if the case is too complex, you need hard evidence, which can be hard to collect. It infers that if a defendant acted negligently without proof of misconduct, things will be hard for you to prove.

You have to be more diligent and tactical under those circumstances.

The defendant may have exclusive control over the equipment or instrument that caused the injury and if you can’t link the defendant directly to the incident, look for such indirect evidence.

For example, a person walks into the office and slips on the wet floor, and injures himself. It doesn’t make the employer directly responsible for the accident because he probably didn’t know that the employee would have walked in at that moment. 

However, it makes him negligent because obviously he ordered the cleaning to happen during that time and didn’t even bother to put up a sign to make people aware of the impending danger. 

It also acts as proof of negligence and you can look for such evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. If it was not your fault, some clue will turn up sooner or later that will help you win the case.

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It means you have found some solid information on the ‘proof of negligence in a personal injury lawsuit and you see some fair chances to win your case now.

We are happy for you.

However, if you need more information from us to fight your personal injury case, you can let us know in the comment box below. We will get back to you with an answer in no time. 

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7 Roles and Responsibility of Personal Injury Lawyer

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