Accidents are a part of life: bicycle collisions; car accidents; auto accidents; slip and fall incidents; and many more. We take it for granted that we might get hurt when we leave the home or even inside the home from faulty toys, tools, home goods, or home building. However, you may not have to take it on the chin.
You may be able to obtain personal injury damages if you can make a negligence claim in a personal injury lawsuit. To recover damages in injury cases, the legal standards holds that the plaintiff must show the defendants failed to exercise reasonable care or otherwise do what a reasonably prudent person would have.
Then under the law and legal principle in a negligence case you can hold the other person or defendant liable or even insurance companies for your actual damages including personal injuries, medical bills, property damage, pain, suffering, and financial loss.
Our firm understands this legal concept and the legal obligation that an insurance company or other defendant owes the injured party after an accident. Contact us for legal advice and a free consultation about personal injury claim from a personal injury lawyer.
Our personal injury attorneys handle personal injury cases and know how to prove negligence when a defendant breached the law or duty of care. An attorney client relationship with our law firm may be the first step for injury victims to get when the defendant owed them.
The following sections review how to prove the defendant’s negligence in more detail as well as the mechanics of a personal injury claim.
What is Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim?
Showing that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by negligence in an accident requires a fundamental understanding of negligence and its legal standard. The law of negligence dates back hundreds of years and has its origins in the common law of England. This was eventually brought over to the United States.
Negligence means that the defendant did not act with reasonable care or that that average person would have acted differently in similar circumstances or the exact same situation. Also, that negligent deviation must have breached a legal duty (to do something or not to something) that leads to and is the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm and injuries.
The plaintiff’s injury cannot be the result of actions of a third party or other person besides the defendant. Otherwise, this would trigger comparative negligence principles.
Finally, when determining fault, the defendant’s breach of duty and all of the defendant’s actions must be of his doing and not directed by the plaintiff.
How to Prove the Defendant Breached a Duty and was Negligent?
In order to prove that the defendant’s actions in accident were negligent, you must illustrate how a reasonable person in similar circumstances would have acted differently.
Just to review, negligence, and proving fault, requires the plaintiff to prove the following elements following an accident:
All of these negligence concepts go hand in hand. For example, the plaintiff could argue that the defendant breached a a law by speeding which caused a crash and led to his injury or injured body part and subsequent financial losses like lost wages
Alternatively, when proving fault, the plaintiff could plead that the defendant’s legal breach was drinking and driving which caused the accident that injured the plaintiff. Negligence can be articulated a million different ways but what you should focus on is trying to prove that the negligent breach led directly to the injury of the plaintiff. Nothing can interrupt you from connecting those dots.
Common Defenses to Negligence
You may experience some hurdles to proving a defendant negligent. Here are some of the most common defense to negligence in court:
- NO NEGLIGENCE: The defendants could argue that their actions were appropriate for the circumstances. On the other hand, they could reply that you have not made your case and that whatever breach you complain of did not lead to your injuries or damages.
- SOMEONE ELSE: In this types of actions, defendants frequently that someone else is to blame including you or a third party. This is referred to as contributory negligence or comparative negligence. The law will still allow you to recover even if this is the case up to a certain point which differs for every state.
- Assumption of Risk: If you assumed the risk of the circumstances, then you cannot rightfully cry foul. The defendant might try and bring this idea up in trial so you should prepare to defeat it.
Cases Involving Negligence Awards and Settlements
To give you a sense of recovery after negligent injuries arise, we have summarized some cases for your review below:
$500,000 Settlement: Negligent Speeding Car Accident Case
This tragic collision occurred on the south side of Chicago. A young man was in the passenger seat as his friend drove through the streets at over 100 miles per hour. Eventually, he crashed into a truck because he was speeding. The young passenger died. His parents and sibling survived him.
They brought this action against the driver and the driver’s insurance carrier. The action was for wrongful death and negligence. You might not know this but passengers can bring cases against drivers even if they voluntarily entered the motor vehicle. In this claim, the insurance company and family worked out a settlement for $500,000.
$3,500,000 Negligence Construction Accident Settlement; 2016.
Here, a young teenager was riding his bicycle adjacent to a construction site in the south suburbs of Chicago when a truck exited the area and turned right into him. The force of the crash killed the thirteen-year-old boy. He was survived by his parents and sibling.
They brought this wrongful death action against the construction company, trucking company, and other related companies. The family argued that the defendants negligently maintained the construction site and should have better placed signs alerting riders to danger.
They cited these failures and others as the main cause of the boy’s death. In an out-of-court agreement, the family settled the case for $3.5 million.
$325,000 Slip and Fall Negligence Settlement; 2009:
A man in his early sixties tripped down a flight of stairs at a local Chicago-area theatre. He ruptured a tendon in quadriceps. That eventually resulted in a disability with partial loss of leg. His medical expenses were over $40,000 and his lost income was almost $100,000.
He sued the theatre and claimed they negligently installed the handrails as well as the anti-slip tape. The defendant filed a response but the matter did not litigate. The two sides settled for $325,000.
Talk to Our Law Firm About Personal Injury Claims
The personal injury attorneys of our law firm, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, are experts in proving how the actual injury occurred due to the defendant’s negligence.
The defendant owed you a legal duty, or duty of care, but breached that and caused injury or injuries to the plaintiff. Therefore, you, the plaintiff, are entitled to recover compensation and we can help you get that financial compensation.
Contact a personal injury lawyer from our law firm today to see if you may have a personal injury case. what your legal options are, if you can recover damages, and what law the defendant breached. Proving negligence is the essence of your personal injury claim and we can help you do that.