Suffering any form of injury in a personal accident can be stressful and emotional. It won’t be easy to come to terms with what happened, and you may even be forced to make several adjustments to your lifestyle to suit your needs.
The good news is, you are entitled to compensation if another party was responsible for your injury. The compensation amount can be financial aid to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with the accident.
However, proving liability in personal injury claims can be tricky and quite challenging. That is why it’s essential to know the four critical elements of a personal injury case. Read on to find out everything you need to know:
Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care
The assumption is that everyone has a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution when they know or should reasonably have known that their actions or negligence can cause harm to another person. This is the first element of any personal injury lawsuit.
For instance, if you are involved in a car accident and suffer damages, you must establish that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
This is usually a simple thing to prove as long as you were reasonably close to the other party. A duty of care is owed by motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
However, the duty of care owed mostly depends on the circumstances. For example, if a windstorm blows someone’s trampoline into the road and it causes an accident, the court will look into who the trampoline belonged to and whether or not they had secured the trampoline reasonably.
Breach of Duty
The second element is proving that there was a breach of duty. This means that the defendant must have acted negligently, recklessly, or carelessly causing your injury. That is why personal injury claims often involve an investigation to determine who was at fault.
It is important to note that a breach of duty can occur even in the slightest negligence.
For instance, if a driver fails to check his mirrors before changing lanes or a business proprietor does not clear away an icy patch on their premises, and someone slips and falls because of it.
The third element is causation. This involves proving that the breach of duty directly caused your injury, which is often one of the most difficult elements to prove in a personal injury claim.
When it comes to causation, the court will examine whether or not another person’s actions were partially responsible for your injuries.
For instance, if a motorist comes speeding down the highway scaring you, it might trigger a chain of events that will determine if the speeding driver is responsible for your accident or not. The truth is that you may panic and want to get out of their way as fast as possible.
If you don’t stop and end up crashing into the back of the car in front of you, it may be difficult to hold the speeding motorist responsible for your accident since they are not the proximate cause of the accident.
The fourth and final element is proving damages or losses incurred due to the injury. This is usually easy to prove if you have medical records, pay stubs, and other evidence detailing your financial losses. It could also include emotional suffering, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering.
In conclusion, if you are ever injured due to another person’s negligence or reckless behavior, it is essential to know the four critical elements of a personal injury claim so that you stand a better chance of being compensated for your losses.
Your best bet would be to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you build a strong case and will represent you in court.
With professional help, you can obtain the rightful compensation you deserve.