If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, this is only true if you can prove that the injuries were caused by the negligence of another person or entity. Let’s take a look at a few key elements that you would need to prove win a financial award from a jury or as part of a negotiated settlement.
Was There a Duty of Care Owed to You?
If someone owes you a duty of care, it means that he or she is required to take actions that ensure your safety. For instance, a doctor must propose treatment options in a manner consistent with any symptoms that you may have. He or she must also take steps to keep you healthy that are consistent with his or her experience, available equipment and other medical norms. When someone breaches his or her duty of care, that person may be considered negligent if his or her actions result in your injuries.
Was There Any Way to Foresee Your Injuries?
In civil court, an individual doesn’t have to intend to hurt you to be held liable for financial damages. The law merely requires that an individual either knew or should have known that his or her actions could have led to another person getting hurt. For instance, let’s say that a driver was speeding or talking on a cell phone prior to causing a collision with your vehicle. In such a scenario, the driver who caused the crash should have known that distracted driving increases the risk of an accident.
Could You Have Done Anything to Avoid the Accident?
The law does say that you must take reasonable actions to keep yourself safe in a public setting. For instance, if you see a crack in the sidewalk, you should attempt to avoid it to keep yourself from tripping over it. If you need to cross the street, the law says that you can only do so at a legal crosswalk and when a control light tells you it’s safe to do so. You can learn more about this at the Jebaily law website. Failing to take basic steps to protect yourself could result in a defendant trying to brand you as clumsy or aloof at trial. That may result in a jury finding you at least partially liable for any financial losses that you incur because of injury.
Did You Suffer Any Financial Damages?
In most cases, you must suffer actual financial losses to prove negligence in a civil case. This is true even if someone acted in a negligent manner in causing a car crash or some other accident that you were involved in. In the event that you don’t suffer any actual damages, the person who caused the accident could still be forced to pay for emotional distress or punitive damages.
While you may feel like the facts of a case are on your side, it is not always easy to prove that your deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Unless you can prove that another person, company or government agency created the conditions that led to your accident, it may be difficult to win a financial award. If you have been injured through no fault of your own, it may be worthwhile to talk with an attorney about your legal options