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Proving Negligence in Your Personal Injury Claim

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Each day, accidents occur that can have a big impact on your life. For example, you might be involved in a car accident that leaves you disabled. However, to get compensation, you might need to prove the other party was responsible for the accident. Often, this means proving negligence. However, this can be a very complex process. For this reason, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. Let’s take a closer look at the process you will need to go through to prove negligence and get compensation for any damages that you received.

Common Examples Of Personal Injury Claims Caused By Negligence

There are many instances in which you might want to claim a personal injury claim. As we’ll discuss later, these types of actions are usually caused because someone else acted in an irresponsible manner. There is a range of environments in which these types of accidents can occur. Let’s look at some examples, to ensure that you understand the type of scenarios that can trigger these claims.

One of the most common examples is a car crash, which occurred because the other driver was acting in a reckless way. For example, you might get rear-ended at a traffic light because the other driver didn’t stop. Another common example might occur when you get hit by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, this type of claim isn’t limited to traffic accidents. These types of incidents also commonly occur in shops. For example, if you trip over a hazard and suffer a fall, you might have a negligence case. Also, if you get served food that is too hot, causing you to burn yourself, you could have a case. To find out more about a personal injury case, you should talk with a lawyer. They will be able to look into the unique circumstances surrounding your accident. Now that we have a better understanding of the range of circumstances that might lead to a negligence case, let’s look at how you should react after an accident.

Talk To Witnesses

With most types of accidents, there will be people who saw the incident occur. You should try to talk to them after the accident. They might be critical in backing up your account of the events. For this reason, you should make sure that you record their names and get their contact details. This will allow your legal team to contact them later. You should also try to take pictures of the accident. This includes taking pictures of any injuries that you suffered. Also, take pictures of any damages that you received. For example, if you were in a car accident, take pictures of any damage to your car.  These can form an essential part of your case, helping you prove your version of events later. In addition, if the incident occurred in a department store, you should make sure that you talk to the manager. Make sure that they file an incident report, which reports the details of the accident. You can also ask if they have any security cameras, and request a copy of the footage. You should also make sure that you report the accident.

Seek Medical Treatment

After an accident, you should always book an appointment with a doctor and chiropractor. This will ensure that you get the medical treatment that you deserve. Often, these types of accidents can have a big impact on your health. For example, you might break a bone if you fall onto a concrete floor. You should also visit health professionals, even if you don’t feel any symptoms. This is because it can take a few days before some symptoms start to present themselves. For example, after a car crash, you might feel fine. However, this could be because the adrenaline is masking the pain. It’s common for victims of these types of accidents to experience effects like Whiplash. If you don’t get the proper treatment, this type of injury can have a big impact on your life. In some cases, it may impact the way that you can move your neck. Visiting the doctor might also be an essential part of building your legal case.

In Florida, if you don’t seek treatment for injuries within 90 days you might not be able to claim these expenses in your insurance claim. This applies to accidents, regardless of who is determined to be at fault for the accident. For this reason, you should make sure to start collecting any medical bills that you receive after the accident. You can also use this information later, to prove the extent of the damages that you suffered. The other key part of making your claim is contacting your lawyer as quickly as possible after the accident.  

Contact Your Lawyer

After the accident, you should make sure that you contact your lawyer to discuss the accident. You want to find an experienced lawyer who can help you with your personal injury claim. This will ensure that you get the best possible legal advice. Also, before you hire a lawyer, you should make sure that you understand how fees will apply. For example, will they receive a flat rate or a percentage of any damages that you receive? Generally, you will be able to have a free session to consult with them. This will allow you to make a decision on how well you will be able to work together. During this consolation session, you should make sure that you are clear about how they will be paid for their services.

Once you’ve found the right lawyer, they will provide you with legal advice. This will help you respond to the situation properly. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and received over $500 worth of damage, you will need to report it. If you don’t do this, it might have a big impact on your case.

Lawyers will be also able to start preparing your insurance claim for you. This will give you the best chance of success. Often, this area of law can be very complex. Talking to your lawyer early is an essential part of helping them prepare your insurance claim. This is because your memory of the event is still fresh, allowing you to provide the clearest explanations of the accident. It will also give your lawyer plenty of time to start contacting witnesses and investigating the accident. By doing this, your personal injury lawyer will be able to prove that your version of the incident is correct. This is very important in negligence cases.

Finally, your lawyer is essential to help you deal with other insurance companies. Occasionally, they might reach out to you to ask you questions about the accident. Your personal injury lawyer can help prepare for this situation. In some cases, they might try to trick you into providing information that can be used to weaken your case.

4 Elements Of A Negligence Case

One of the first things that your lawyer has to decide is whether negligence played a part in causing the accident. There are many things that they will need to consider when making this judgment. Generally, there are four key aspects that they will be looking at to decide if negligence played a role in the accident. These factors are duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. You will need to show each of these elements when proving negligence on your personal insurance claim. Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements to see how a personal injury lawyer will approach each of these factors.

1.      Duty Of Care

The first thing that your lawyer will consider is if you were owed a duty of care in this circumstance. This describes the way that each person should have acted. It considers any relationship that you shared and what responsibilities each person had. The best way to understand this is by looking at some common examples. If you are driving on the road, you have a duty of care to the other drivers. This means that you will need to obey all the road rules. Shop owners also have a duty of care to their customers. They are responsible for providing a safe shopping environment.

2.      Breach Of Duty Of Care

If there was a duty of care, your lawyers will then need to consider whether or not it was breached. This occurs when someone doesn’t follow their responsibilities. Let’s return to our examples to see how this may occur. If the other driver doesn’t stop at a stop sign, causing an accident, they breached their duty of care. Another common example is when people drive cars, even though they are under the influence of substances like drugs and alcohol. Alternatively, a shop owner might breach their duty of care if they don’t keep the shop clean. In some circumstances, you might trip and fall in an untidy environment. In addition, if the floor is being moped, the shop owner needs to make sure that there is adequate signage.

3.      Causation

This step alleges that your injuries occurred because the other part violated their duty of care. This is often the trickiest part of the case for your lawyer to determine. Generally, they will look carefully at the circumstances. They need to show that the other person was the primary reason that you suffered the injury. A good way to think about this is by considering what would have happened if the other person hadn’t acted that way. For example, imagine you got rear-ended at the traffic lights. If the driver had stopped properly, you wouldn’t have been injured. Another common example is when you trip over hazards in a shop. If the owner had kept the shop clean, you wouldn’t have been injured. While these examples are very obvious, it might not always be that simple. As we’ll discuss later, your personal injury lawyer will also factor in your actions when looking at causation. If it’s found that your behavior contributed to causing the accident, it might have a significant impact on your case.

4.      Damages

The final element of a negligence case is showing that you received damages. Later, we’ll discuss some of the things that you can claim damages for in your case. Though it can be difficult, your lawyer will need to put a monetary price on the damages that you received. To help your lawyer decide how much you are owed, you should keep important documents like medical bills. You will also need to prove that the damages are linked to the accident. Once your lawyer has been successful at proving negligence, they will need to consider how your actions affected the accident. This will determine whether contributory negligence applies.

What Is Contributory Negligence?

When thinking about the accident, your lawyer will also need to consider your behavior. In some cases, you might have contributed to the accident. In most circumstances, you will also have a duty of care. If you violate this duty of care, it can be argued that you were also partly responsible for causing the accident.

To help you understand how this works, let’s look at some examples. Imagine you ignored signs and entered an area that contained a wet floor, then slipped and fell. In this case, it could be argued that you were at fault for the accident. Another common example might occur if you got injured in a traffic accident. If the other driver can show that you weren’t paying attention to the road, you will be held partly responsible for the accident. This is called contributory negligence and it can have a big impact on your case.

How Can Contributory Negligence Affect Your Case?

If it can be proved that your actions contributed to the injuries that you received, it can have a big impact on your case. Generally, it will reduce the amount of damages that you can claim, depending on how much of an impact your actions had. Though it can be difficult to calculate, they will often try to make this into a percentage. How large or small the percentage will depend on which outcome you will be facing.

1.      Pure Comparative Negligence

This generally occurs for people who had a minor impact on the accident. This reduces the amount of damages that you will receive, depending on how much you contributed to the accident. For example, imagine that you are found 15% responsible for the accident. In this case, if you were awarded a $10,000 payout, you would only receive $8,500.

2.      Modified Comparative Negligence

This applies to people who had a big impact on the injury. Generally, if you are more than 50% responsible for the injury, you won’t get any damages at all.

As you can see, the amount of comparative negligence that you received can have a big impact on your case. For this reason, you want to hire a great personal injury lawyer. They will be able to help you defend yourself if the other person alleges that you contributed to the accident. They might use things like medical records, police reports, witness testimony, and photos of the accident. This evidence can be essential when proving that your version of events was truthful. Your personal injury lawyer will also be able to tell you what you can claim damages for.

What Kind Of Damages Can You Claim?

After an accident, you will often face multiple expenses. This can have a big impact on your financial situation. For example, you might need to pay multiple medical bills. In this case, it’s essential that you understand what you can claim damages for. The best person to discuss this with is your lawyer. They will be able to provide personalized advice. Generally, there are several things that you can get compensated for.

First, any medical bills that you received as a result of the accident can be claimed. This includes any medications that you needed to purchase. Occasionally, it can take several months before you fully recover from an accident. In this case, your lawyer will try to estimate the total medical costs that you will incur. As we discussed, the best way to prove this is by collecting medical bills to prove your expenses. If necessary, your doctor might need to give a statement. This will allow your lawyer to show that the treatment you received was necessary, considering the injuries that you received. In some cases, you might never recover. For example, you might not be able to walk after being involved in a serious car accident. In this case, your lawyer will need to estimate how this permeant injury has affected your life. They will be able to add this figure to the total amount of damages.

They will also consider other ways in which your life has been impacted by the accident. For example, after the accident, you might not have been able to work. In this case, lost wages can be added to the damages that you are requesting. Also, they might consider how the accident affected your property. For example, if you were involved in a car crash, you might be entitled to get any vehicle damage repaired. They might also consider whether your ability to work in the future was impaired.

 In rare circumstances, punitive damages might apply. These damages are applied by the court to try to deter people from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Also, in some cases, the amount of damages might be capped. For example, if you were injured in a medical accident, there might be a limit on the amount of damages that you are entitled to. However, this is also rare. If you encounter either of these instances, your personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed. Once you’ve filed your personal injury claim, there are two ways that the matter can be resolved.  

How Will Damages Get Awarded?

After lodging your personal injury claim, there are two possible outcomes. Either, the case will be settled, or it will proceed to court. Let’s look at each of these potential scenarios.

In most cases, you will be able to settle your case. In this case, your lawyer will meet with the legal representation of the injured party. They will then try to come to an agreement that suits both parties. This process means that you will receive your money sooner. It’s also less expensive than going to court. Most negligence cases can be solved through settlement. This ensures that the negligent party doesn’t need to have the negative publicity associated with attending court.

However, in some cases, the settlement process won’t work. In this case, you will need to go to court. In this circumstance, your personal injury lawyer will need to prove your side of the case. To do this, they will need to rely on the evidence that they’ve gathered.

Conclusion

Being involved in an injury can be a highly traumatic experience. In some cases, you might be left with extensive injuries or been left with a permanent disability. This situation can be even more upsetting if it was caused by someone else’s negligence. Thankfully, there are some ways that you can get compensated for the damages that you suffered. We looked at some of the things that your lawyer will consider when preparing your negligence lawsuit, giving you the best chance that your personal injury claim will deliver the result that you want. We also discussed some of the potential difficulties that your lawyer might encounter during this process. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how a negligence claim works and the importance of hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. At The Injury Firm, we are skilled at helping people with personal injury claims. So, get in contact with our friendly staff today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

The Injury Firm
2000 N.E. 45th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000
Email: info@flinjuryfirm.com

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Fort Lauderdale

2000 N.E. 45th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000
Email: info@flinjuryfirm.com

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The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

  

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