The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

How Negligence is Determined in a Personal Injury Case

If you suffer a personal injury and you think it was caused by another person, you are going to want to get the other person to compensate you for your injuries. From medical bills to lost wages and pain and suffering, you can incur a great many expenses from a personal injury, as well as missing out on some precious time in your life. But in order to get compensated, you will need to prove negligence in a personal injury case. This means that you will have to show that the other party was negligent and that this caused your injuries. Fortunately, a personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania can help you with your personal injury case.

What are the elements of a personal injury case?

There are four key elements to a personal injury case in Pennsylvania. You need to show that the other person owed you a duty of care. This means that they were legally obligated to act in a reasonable manner with respect to you. This could be a physician acting in a proper professional manner when conducing a medical procedure, or a driver operating a motor vehicle.

The second element is a breach of this duty. This means that the other person acted in way that was not reasonable under the circumstances. For example, a driver who is speeding can be considered to have breached the duty of care. So can a contractor who leaves hazardous debris on a sidewalk while working.

Once you have established that there was a breach of the duty of care, you will need to show that any injuries you suffered were caused by the other person’s breach. This is called causation, and it is the link between the negligence and your injuries. In other words, you will need to show that your injuries were caused by the car accident, and were not from another incident.

The fourth element of a personal injury case is damages. This means that you suffered a loss as a result of the negligence. This can be the physical injuries and cost of medical care. It may also means things like lost wages and emotional distress. In order to collect for your damages, you will need to show the actual expenses incurred for most injuries. For other injuries, like emotional distress, you will need to have sought treatment from someone in the psychological field.

How is negligence proven?

In order to establish negligence, you will need to provide evidence for each of these four elements. For duty and breach, you will need to show that the relationship between you and the other person created a duty of care that was breached by their actions or failure to act in a reasonable manner. To prove causation and damages, you will need evidence to show the extent of your injuries, how they occurred, and how you have been harmed by them. This can sometimes entail experts to testify as to the injuries, how they occurred, and how they are being treated.

What if I contributed to the negligence?

Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state. This means that the court will look at each party in a personal injury case to determine if each side did anything to contribute to the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. If you are the one suing, and you also took actions or failed to act in a proper manner, then the court will weigh each side’s actions. It will then determine the amount that each side contributed to the injuries. So, if the court in a personal injury case rising out of a car accident decides that the plaintiff bore 30% of the fault, it will reduce the total damages awarded to the plaintiff by 30%. As a result, this rule could end up reducing the amount you will be awarded in a personal injury case.

If you suffered a personal injury, call our firm to help you today

Personal injury cases turn on the ability to prove negligence. The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Cassidy Law Firm will provide you with the representation you need so you can hold the person who caused your injuries responsible. 

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