If you are pursuing legal action with a personal injury claim and negligence is the main basis for the suit, the burden is on you and your attorney to prove it. There are four major elements of a negligence claim: causation, breach of duty, duty of care, and damages.
Duty of Care
Duty of care means that there is an obligation to avoid injuring someone else or allowing them be put in the path of danger. Most of the time, a person has at least some level of duty of care toward other people. Sometimes it can be hard to determine duty of care because there aren’t clear laws that dictate how people should act towards others.
Breach of Duty
In order to prove someone is liable for negligence, they had to have breached a duty of care owed to the plaintiff. There was a breach if that person or business did not exercise reasonable care while fulfilling their duty.
For example, speed limit signs are posted for a driver’s safety (that falls under duty of care) and if a driver chooses to ignore the speed limit and is injured in the process, a jury may deem that the driver breached the duty.
However, sometimes determining a breach of duty can be a little tougher. For example, it might be difficult to prove that the driver was obeying the posted speed law and we may not know the reason why that person was speeding – there may be circumstances leading up to the accident that aren’t available.
Once you have determined a breach of duty, whether it’s a broken step or an ignored traffic sign, you’ve determined that person’s legal responsibility for your injuries. However, this person may say the accident was not caused by their negligence. Or, if you were injured because of a loose step or stairway, the person may claim that it was your own carelessness around the area that caused the accident.
This term refers to your physical or emotional injuries, as well as damage that occurred to your property or your lost income because of the accident. Negotiating the amount of money you will get as compensation for your injuries will likely be one of the main points of dispute.
Need legal help? Contact your lawyer today for further clarification on your injury case to be sure you know the exact ins and outs of it.