In any personal injury case, the most important question that is asked is who is at fault? Determining the negligent party in a personal injury claim is important as it is to determine the party responsible for paying compensation to the party that was injured.
Negligence is proved by the circumstances of the case at hand. Your attorney needs to investigate the case to determine all the parties that are at fault and make a determination of liability.
Most of the negligent parties usually have liability insurance, which leaves the insuring company to settle the claim. The companies also conduct their own investigations to determine liability. If the parties that are involved in the suit cannot agree, they are forced to file a personal injury claim and give the court the task of determining the party that was at fault.
What Legal Elements Determine Negligence?
All legal elements of negligence need to be proved in order for one to be held responsible for personal injuries. The legal elements include:
Breach: As a plaintiff, you will have to prove that the defendant breached a legal duty. For example, if a motorist carelessly looked down at his cell phone when the accident occurred.
Causation: The defendant should be the one responsible for your injuries. In most cases, this is usually obvious.
Damages: As a plaintiff, you need to incur actual damages. These are usually monetary and stem from the accident. This includes lost income, medical bills and property damage, among many others.
What Is Negligence Per Se?
This is another method of proving fault. This happens when there is an unexcused violation of a statute. In this case, the defendant is automatically responsible for your damages, especially if the injury is one that the violated statute was supposed to prevent. As a plaintiff in this case, you belong to the class which the statute was meant to protect. For example, reckless driving is a vehicle code violation and the injury to pedestrians will result in the liability being determined by negligence per se.
All the legal elements of negligence are straightforward but at times it can be hard to prove. The evidence and facts of each particular case are used to determine negligence. To make a legal and sound liability claim, attorneys need to conduct a thorough investigation. This will involve collection of physical evidence, consulting and hiring experts as well as interviewing all the involved parties. The common evidence that they can use to prove negligence include records/documents kept by the parties, statements that the involved parties made and police reports.