No one sets out to get into an accident, but sometimes they happen. In 2020, there were 55.4 million injuries in the United States. That’s a lot of people!
Unfortunately, many of those incidents were caused by the carelessness of others. If you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to understand the difficulties you’ll likely face when trying to prove it.
With that said, below are some of the most common challenges of proving negligence and how to get around them.
1. Identifying the At-Fault Party
Identifying the at-fault party is one of the biggest hurdles in any personal injury case. Unless the plaintiff can prove that another party is liable for their injuries, they will not be able to recover any compensation. This isn’t easy in some cases, especially if the at-fault party is not clearly identified.
For example, if an accident occurs in a crowded area, it’s challenging to figure out the specific person who caused the injury. The best way to try and prove who is at fault is to get eyewitness testimony from people who saw the incident happen. If there are no witnesses, you’ll have to rely on other evidence, such as security footage or dashcam footage.
2. Showing That the At-Fault Party Had a Legal Obligation
In order to prove negligence, you must show that the at-fault party had a legal obligation to act in a certain way. This is also known as the duty of care. The legal obligation or duty of care is different in every situation.
For instance, a property owner has a legal obligation to make sure their premises are safe for visitors. A driver has a legal duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. And, a doctor has a legal obligation to provide their patients with a certain standard of care.
3. Proving That the At-Fault Party Breached Duty of Care
The next step is to show that the at-fault party breached their legal duty of care. In other words, you must prove that they failed to act in the way that a reasonable person would have under the same circumstances.
For example, if you’re suing a driver for negligence, you’ll need to show that they were driving recklessly or carelessly. This could be proven by evidence such as speeding, swerving, or running a red light.
Once you’ve shown that the at-fault party breached their duty of care, you must then prove causation. This means that you must show that the at-fault party’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries.
If there are multiple defendants in your case, you must prove that each defendant’s actions directly led to your injuries. This is a challenging task, especially if there are several defendants involved.
The next step in proving negligence is to show that you suffered damages as a result of the responsible party’s negligence. Damages are typically classified as either economic or non-economic.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages are more subjective, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
6. Comparative Negligence
In some cases, the plaintiff may be partially responsible for their own injuries. This is known as comparative negligence. If the plaintiff is found to be even slightly at fault for their injuries, it could have a major impact on their case.
For instance, if a jury finds that the plaintiff is 10% at fault for their injuries, they will only be able to recover 90% of their damages.
7. Statute of Limitations
It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in your state. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to sue the liable party, no matter how strong your case is.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations can vary depending on the type of injury and the state where the accident occurred. For example, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in Texas is two years from the date of the accident.
How Long Is the Personal Injury Claim Process?
The personal injury claims process is lengthy. It often takes months, or even years, to reach a resolution. The amount of time it takes to settle a case depends on many factors, such as the severity of your injuries, the strength of your evidence, and whether the responsible party is willing to cooperate.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you investigate your case, gather evidence, and file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
How Much Can I Get for a Damages Claim?
When you file a personal injury claim, you’re typically entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages. As mentioned above, economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are more subjective, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The amount of damages you’re entitled to recover will depend on the severity of your injuries, the impact that your injuries have had on your life, and the state in which you live.
Proving Negligence: The Key to Winning A Personal Injury Claim
As you can see, proving negligence is a complex task. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you prove the legal obligation of the liable party. At Heard Merman, we can do just that.
Our team of attorneys has experience in personal injury and trial law. We understand how to effectively fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. If you’d like to reach out to us, call 1-866-578-0214 or contact us online. We look forward to partnering with you.