A personal injury case is a civil action that involves litigants going to court in order to determine liability and damages. The action is based on issues to do with negligence or strict liability. Personal injury cases are predominantly premised on the law of negligence. In order to find someone liable under the law of negligence, it is essential to fulfilling various conditions that include the duty of care. In negligence cases, it must be shown that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Once the existence of the duty is established, the plaintiff has the onus to prove that duty was breached in order to find the defendant liable in negligence.
Once the four elements of negligence are proven in a court of law, it is conclusive that the defendant is held liable for damages. In this regard, this article articulates these elements of negligence that are essential in a personal injury claim. This elements are also applicable on How to beat a DUI in court.
Presence of a duty of care
As aforementioned, it is imperative to prove the existence of a duty of care. This armpit was adequately discussed in the famous case of Donoghue v Stevenson. In this case, a vital principle was established, and this principle is known as the neighbor principle. This principle stipulates that you owe your neighbor a duty to act in a reasonable manner. Your actions should not be perceived to have an ability to put your neighbor in harm’s way.
Breach of duty
Once the duty of care is duly established it is a requirement that the duty is breached. You cannot claim in negligence if the duty owed is not breached by the defendant. You must show that the defendant acted in an unreasonable manner which put your rights in jeopardy. For example, when a doctor with the duty to preserve your health prescribes wrong medication, he is in breach of duty.
Direct cause of injury
Under negligence, it is vital that the plaintiff in a case suffered personal injuries. Also, you ought to show that the injuries suffered were directly caused by the unreasonable acts of the defendant. For example, in a road accident, the diver’s overspeeding is directly related to the injuries suffered therein. If the injuries are not substantially related then your claim could be rendered defective.
Proof of monetary losses
There must be documented evidence that injuries caused by the negligent acts were so severe that they necessitated treatment and recovery expenses. This may be evidenced by hospital/medical receipts.