Most personal injury claims are filed on the basis of negligence. In tort law, negligence refers to a failure to exercise a level of care that a person of ordinary prudence would have exercised given the circumstances.
To prevail in a negligence claim, the claimant must prove:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty of care; and
- The breach of duty caused the claimant’s injury or loss.
The success of your case will ultimately hinge on the strength of the available evidence. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for defendants to alter or destroy evidence of negligence, so it is important that your attorney is able to investigate your case at the earliest possible point in time.
At Coxwell & Associates, we can evaluate your case for free to determine if you have grounds for a claim and how to approach the investigation. We will then get to work immediately to gather all available evidence of negligence, liability, and damages. Call (601) 265-7766 to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney in Jackson.
Let’s take a closer look at the elements that must be proven to win a negligence claim:
- The Defendant Owed the Claimant a Duty of Care
In every successful personal injury claim, the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care in some capacity prior to the accident. The duty of care can be either implied or express.
If it was implied, as it is between automobile drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, proving a duty of care existed should be fairly straightforward. A police report listing the defendant’s name and detailing the nature of the accident should suffice. If the duty of care was express, as it is between doctors and patients, your attorney may be able to use receipts, invoices, correspondence, or other documentation to prove the nature of your relationship with the defendant.
- The Defendant Breached the Duty of Care
The second component of proving negligence in a personal injury claim is demonstrating how the defendant breached the duty of care. The strongest evidence of the breach will depend on the specifics of the case.
In car accident claims, for example, relevant evidence might include cell phone records, eyewitness testimony, dash cam footage, and the police report. In cases involving medical malpractice, the testimony of a well-credentialed specialist may help your attorney prove how your provider deviated from the most widely accepted standards of care.
- The Breach of Duty Caused the Claimant’s Injury or Loss
Causation is the final element that you must demonstrate to prove negligence. You must show how the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of your damages.
If you were hit by a reckless driver, for example, but the crash didn’t cause an injury or worsen an existing condition, you wouldn’t be able to include any medical bills in your claim. But if you suffered whiplash due to the collision, your attorney might use medical documentation, the police report, and expert witness testimony to prove causation.
Discuss Your Case With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Jackson
If you were hurt or lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, turn to Coxwell & Associates. We have been representing Mississippians for more than 35 years. Call (601) 265-7766 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney in Jackson.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.