Proving Fault and the Elements of a Negligence Claim

Being able to show negligence goes hand-in-hand with proving fault so that you can move forward with your claim. Being injured in an accident is no walk in the park and you may have sustained a variety of damages that you cannot handle on your own. Any attorney will tell you that one of the first ways to bring a claim against a party is by proving negligence, which we will discuss today.

What is Negligence in Your Personal Injury Claim?  

Drivers are expected to uphold a certain duty of care on our roads. From the moment that a driver obtains their driver’s license, they are expected to obey certain laws of the road to ensure that serious and even deadly accidents are prevented. Negligence is defined as a failure to obey by the level of care that is expected from them. If others act a certain way to prevent harm, that is how all drivers are expected to act.

When a driver has acted in a reckless way and causes injuries to another party, negligence will hold a party liable for the harm that they have caused. By showing that another party acted negligently, fault is easier to determine and you will be able to show these actions in court. Judges are well-versed in determining if somebody has, indeed, acted negligently and contributed to the harm that you have received.

Elements That Prove Negligence 

In order to win a claim against a negligent party, there are four elements that you must be able to show. These include the following:

Duty: When the courts assess a negligence claim, they first look to see if the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. For instance, drivers are expected to follow laws put in place on our roads. When they fail to do so, they have disobeyed the duty of care and can be held liable. Drivers are expected to act reasonably and can be held responsible for accidents that they caused. 

Breach: The courts will also examine if the defendant breached their duty of care by disobeying the laws of the road. If a reasonable person would have avoided this accident by taking certain actions, then this is expected of all drivers who share our roads.

Causation: The plaintiff also has to show that the defendant’s negligence actually led to injuries. A plaintiff is only able to recover from an accident if they have suffered some type of harm due to reckless acts. For instance, if a driver was texting and driving and caused an accident and you have sustained injuries, you will be able to file a claim. You have to show that the party actually caused your injury and damages. 

Damages: If you are able to compensate for damages from a negligent party, you will be able to bring a claim.

How an Injury Attorney Can Help 

The aftermath of a Florida car accident can be a challenging and even distressing time. Because of this, we urge victims that they should never work alone as they navigate the legal system against a negligent party. At Sheftall & Associates, we understand how victims struggle to come to terms with their accident cases and how difficult it is to get back on your feet. Please contact our accident attorneys today at (904) 638-7712 to find out how we can assist you at this time.


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