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How to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

The average person likely isn’t equipped to overcome the many challenges in handling their personal injury claim. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact 1-800-Ask-Gary to get a referral for a qualified personal injury lawyer.

Many personal injury attorneys offer a free case evaluation and can tell you quickly if you can recover compensation through a personal injury claim. Hiring a qualified lawyer has many benefits, and you can ask how else they can help you during your initial consultation.

What Is a Personal Injury Case?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 38 million people visit hospital emergency rooms due to injuries every year. Some of these injuries result from someone else’s negligence, and injured victims may qualify to seek financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

The legal concept is that if the defendant had acted differently, their injury might not have happened. In a negligence claim, you’ll need to show that their actions directly caused your accident and resulting damages.

Using a car accident as an example, a distracted driver going over the speed limit may cause a collision. That person’s insurance company is responsible for paying damages to you if that crash injured you. However, insurance companies are notorious for attempting to pay only minimal compensation.

Will Insurance Companies Pay Claims Willingly?

Most insurance companies want to avoid paying you. They often offer lowball settlement offers or deny claims to get out of paying more than they must.

1-800-Ask-Gary understands that you need to recover damages that actually cover your expenses and address other forms of injuries, such as mental anguish. A personal injury attorney knows what compensation you’re entitled to and how to help you get it.

Most personal injury claims settle without the need for a personal injury lawsuit. Still, many claimants receive substantially more compensation through settlement offers when they take advantage of an attorney’s negotiation skills.

What Is Negligence?

Most personal injury cases rest on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is failing to behave the same way a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances. Negligent behavior can be an unintentional or deliberate act or omission.

People have a legal duty to use reasonable care in certain circumstances to avoid harming others. For instance, physicians should exercise reasonable care when treating patients, and motor vehicle drivers have a legal responsibility to practice safe driving methods. Failure to adhere to these principles can lead to injuries in a medical malpractice situation or a car accident.

How Do You Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?

A valid negligence case needs to show that all of the following elements of negligence exist to substantiate your personal injury claim:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • That defendant breached their duty of care.
  • The defendant’s breach caused an accident.
  • The injured party sustained damages in that accident.

Proving negligence in a personal injury claim typically requires an investigation. A competent personal injury attorney can take care of this for you.

How Does an Investigation Help?

You can’t accuse someone of negligent behavior and hold them accountable without sufficient proof. Depending on the kind of negligence claim you have, an investigation might look for evidence proving:

  • What the defendant was doing immediately before the accident that injured you
  • The defendant could have prevented the accident if they had acted differently or in the way a reasonable person would have
  • How long a hazardous situation was present before your accident
  • Who knew about the hazard and when they found out about it

Your personal injury claim has a better chance of success with proper evidence obtained through an in-depth investigation.

How Are Negligence Claims Challenging?

Every state has laws and statutes that govern personal injury cases, and they can vary significantly. Proving negligence isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s vital to let 1-800-Ask-Gary help you find a personal injury lawyer. Some complications that may arise include:

  • States may use some form of contributory negligence or comparative fault to determine who can recover damages.
  • Liable insurance companies might try to accuse you of more fault than you deserve.
  • Each type of claim is subject to a statute of limitations or deadline for taking legal action.
  • You may have trouble collecting compensation from defendants who don’t meet the state’s liability or car insurance requirements.
  • Finding proof of a defendant’s negligence is sometimes difficult.

Different kinds of personal injury claims can present various challenges that are difficult to handle without the assistance of a competent lawyer. Some examples will demonstrate the types of complications you may face.

Truck and Car Accidents

A negligent driver can cause collisions with catastrophic effects for everyone involved. Some car accident claims are relatively straightforward, but proving negligence in others can present challenges. Several complications are often present in a single case, including:

  • More than one defendant is liable for causing the accident
  • No-fault insurance
  • Commercial vehicle or government agency involvement
  • Defective vehicles or parts

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will investigate why your accident occurred to prove fault. If you are partially responsible, your attorney will ensure that your assigned degree of fault is fair.

Examples of negligence that often contribute to causing accidents are:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to follow traffic laws
  • Government agencies failing to maintain roads or traffic lights and signals
  • Improperly maintained vehicles
  • Reckless or aggressive driving

Proving fault in these cases is critical because it directly affects the amount of compensation you can receive.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

This type of accident occurs when you sustain injuries on someone else’s property. Most occur on public properties, such as retail stores, city parks, etc.

To prove negligence, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care yet failed to uphold it. Use 1-800-Ask-Gary to find a qualified personal injury lawyer to investigate your accident.

When a property owner or manager becomes aware of a safety hazard, they have a legal obligation to address it in a timely manner. If this person fails to do so and the defendant’s actions or inactions cause you to slip and fall, you can typically obtain compensation.

You’ll need to prove when the defendant knew or should have known about the hazardous situation. Finding that evidence can present many challenges.

Common slip-and-fall accident causes include:

  • Wet or slippery walking surfaces
  • Poor lighting
  • Objects left in walkways
  • Uneven surfaces or damaged flooring
  • Loose or non-existent handrails

If the responsible party can’t repair issues like these immediately, they should put up a barrier or signs to prevent guests or customers from walking in these areas.

Are There Different Kinds of Personal Injury Claims?

Many personal injury law firms handle several varieties of personal injury claims. Examples include:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall

1-800-Ask-Gary can connect you with a personal injury lawyer in your area who focuses on handling personal injury cases similar to yours. An attorney with experience and familiarity with the laws in your state has the knowledge necessary to win maximum financial compensation for you.

What Kinds of Personal Injury Damages Can You Seek?

You may wonder how much compensation you’re entitled to. The amounts are different in each case because they depend on your state’s laws and the exact circumstances of your accident and resulting injuries. 1-800-Ask-Gary will help you find a qualified attorney to assist you.

Economic Damages

You’ll face various costs in an accident’s aftermath, and economic damages can reimburse you for things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Replacement services
  • Property damage

It’s good to keep your medical bills and a record of other eligible expenses in a central place. You’ll also need employment documents to show your lost income due to your accident.

In some cases, you may qualify to receive compensation for future medical expenses and lost wages. Let 1-800-Ask-Gary connect you with a lawyer who can help, then ask your attorney if your case is eligible.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages attempt to compensate you for secondary issues that don’t have attached price tags. Eligible adverse effects include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Losing your ability to enjoy life
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability

The compensation you might receive may depend on how severely these problems affect your life after your accident. Your personal injury attorney will advise you.

Punitive or Exemplary Damages

You may receive punitive or exemplary damages when a defendant is guilty of willfully negligent conduct, malicious intent, or aggressive behaviors. These aren’t available in most cases, however.

What Is 1-800-Ask-Gary?

Accident victims don’t have time to search for legal or medical professionals. 1-800-Ask-Gary is a free resource that helps connect people with qualifying providers. Call (800) 275-4279 to begin. Someone is available 24/7.