Personal injury lawsuits can be very complicated, sometimes requiring evidence from the scene, expert witnesses, or footage from surveillance cameras (which has to be obtained through a court order). What You Must Prove in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you’ve been hurt in an accident and feel that someone else was at fault, you have the right to seek compensation for financial losses, pain and suffering resulting from your injuries. But the “burden of proof” is on you. That is, you have to be able to show that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. There are 4 key elements you must prove:
- Duty of Care. First, you have to demonstrate that the other party owed you some measure of care and safety. For example, a supermarket should take reasonable steps to keep you safe, such as checking for and cleaning up spills. Another driver has a duty to obey the speed limit and avoid accidents.
- Breach of Duty. You must show that the other party didn’t live up to their “duty”, by acting carelessly or doing something wrong—such as a grocery store that failed to clean up a spill or a driver who ran a stop sign while texting.
- You must prove the other party’s “breach of duty” caused your injuries—that is, that you wouldn’t have been hurt if the store had mopped up the spill that caused you to fall, or if the other driver hadn’t hit your car after running a stop sign.
- You have to show that the injuries caused you measurable losses. This means providing things like medical bills (for treatment of physical injuries of emotional trauma), documents that show you lost wages while injured, etc.