Every citizen must act responsibly and try to avoid putting other people at risk. However, still many individuals can cause negligence by their actions. Here are some negligent behavior examples that can result in a personal injury case:
- Driving in a drunken state
- Driving aggressively
- Driving after consuming drugs
- Driving a heavy-duty vehicle i.e. 18-wheeler without proper rest
- Driving a heavy-duty vehicle without proper training
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Many personal injury lawsuits can occur if the driver shows negligence while driving. The following are some of the most common accident types:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- 18-wheeler accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Slip-and-fall accident
- Workplace accident
Regardless of what type of accident you were involved in, an experienced Van Nuys personal injury lawyer can assist you with navigating the legal repercussions and securing compensation.
How to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The majority of the civil cases for injuries hold the defendant responsible for negligence. However, to win a negligence case, the victim needs to establish four elements (duty, breach, causation, and damages). Let’s understand them in detail.
Duty (also termed as duty of care) refers to the legal obligation of every individual to prevent actions or behaviors that can harm others. It’s the key element that a plaintiff must establish to move ahead with a negligence claim.
Breach (breach of duty of care) occurs when an individual doesn’t uphold his duty of care and causes harm to a person. It means the person didn’t fulfill his duty of care in the situation.
However, to prove a breach of duty of care, you need to present proof stating that the defendant’s actions fell below the duty of care standard.
Causation is the relationship between the plaintiff’s injury and the defendant’s negligence. It is another critical element that the plaintiff’s lawyer must establish in a negligence case. Fundamentally, the plaintiff needs to prove that his injury may not have occurred if the defendant showed his responsibility.
It is crucial to understand that demonstrating causation alone is not enough to prove negligence. However, you need to establish all four key elements (duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages) for a successful negligence claim.
Damages point out to the tangible or intangible losses that the plaintiff suffers due to the defendant’s negligence in a personal injury case. It is the fourth element in proving negligence. Damages that occur in a personal injury lawsuit can be of three types.
- Special damages are quantifiable monetary damages that the plaintiff may suffer due to the injury. They vary from case to case based on certain circumstances. Special damages include medical bills, wage losses, property damages, and any other expenses that occurred due to the injury.
- General damages are non-monetary damages that you can’t calculate in terms of money. These losses include pain and suffering, mental distress, and bad quality of life. They vary from one person to another person and are impossible to measure in dollar value.
- Punitive damages are not compensatory damages, however, they help to punish the defendant and discourage them from repeating similar behavior in the future. Defendants face these damages when they showcase recklessness. However, the punishment varies from case to case.
In a successful negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff can obtain all three damages based on the case circumstances and the jurisdiction guidelines. However, the plaintiff should provide evidence to support his claim for all damages including medical bills, wage statements, and receipts. Keep in mind proving damages is as important as establishing the four elements of negligence.
Proving negligence means the plaintiff must establish all four elements of negligence. These key elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages. In addition, the plaintiff must provide evidence to support his claim for all his monetary and non-monetary losses. By doing so, he will be able to prove the defendant’s negligence in his personal injury case.