Your personal injury case hinges on several critical factors that must be proven. These factors are not only what determine if you are successful, but they also may determine the total compensation you receive.
What are they? They are the elements of negligence. These elements are defined as duty, breach, causation, and damages.
The Elements of a Negligence Claim
To win your lawsuit, you must establish that the defendant (the party responsible for your injuries) was negligent, by proving the following:
Four Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Duty: The defendant must have owed you a legal duty of care. For example, a legal obligation to obey traffic laws while driving.
Breach: If the defendant owes you a duty of care, you must next show that the defendant breached his/her duty of care, such as speeding or running a red light.
Causation: Even if the defendant breached that duty, this breach must have caused* your injury. You must be able to show that your injury was caused by the crash or that a pre-existing pain or injury was made worse by the crash. This is often one of the largest hurdles in a personal injury case as it often requires the testimony of an expert doctor.
Damages: You must have suffered damages from their actions. If you were not injured, then you will not have a valid personal injury claim.
Winning a Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case is a lawsuit where you are suing the party responsible for their actions and holding them accountable. Within that lawsuit, you are seeking damages, which is compensation for your financial losses, pain, and suffering.
Personal injury cases come in all shapes and sizes, including car accidents, slip and fall injuries, or intentional acts.
To prove the elements of negligence, you will need to go through several steps, which include:
Preserving Evidence: This could be your own notes on the accident, photographs, or more convincing evidence. Regardless, you should document what happened at the time of the accident, names of those involved, and any witnesses you find at the scene. If the individual who caused the crash apologizes or makes other statements, this should be noted.
Finding Witnesses: Witness testimony is very powerful and can be used to prove your case. You will want to locate them, ask them if they would be willing to make a statement, and then collect their contact information to get a statement later.
Taking Photographs: Photographs are important to tell the story and demonstrate the crash. If you can take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and other pertinent information, it may help prove your case.
Seeing a Physician Immediately: If you are injured, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately or as soon as possible and to follow all your doctor’s orders. Any major gaps in treatment can cause an insurance company to doubt your injury.
After an injury, you may not be able to complete a lot of these steps, and that is okay. Completing as many as you can or even just one will help. Also, speaking with an attorney, regardless of what evidence you have, is important. An attorney may be able to gather evidence for you and strengthen your case.
Hire a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney
While no one can predict the outcome of a personal injury case, one thing is for certain: your chances can increase a with a legal advocate you trust.
The attorneys at Wendt Law Firm, P.C. know what it takes to be successful in a personal injury lawsuit. Give our lawyers a call today to explore your options and see if we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.