Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
Negligence is a legal term that refers to the failure to act with the appropriate level of care.
If you have serious physical injuries that resulted in an accident and believe the other party was negligent, it’s important to familiarize yourself with proving negligence in a personal injury claim so your lawyer can help you understand the details of your case.
Methods for Proving Negligence
The first method is to show that the other person failed to meet the standard of care at the time of your accident, which means they did something wrong or failed to do something they should have done.
For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic and it resulted in an accident, this could be construed as negligence because it shows a disregard for the safety of others.
Other examples of negligence include failing to maintain proper road conditions, failing to maintain adequate lighting in dark tunnels, or just driving too fast and causing an accident.
Distracted driving, or not paying attention while driving and causing an accident, is also considered negligence.
Determination of Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases
In some medical malpractice cases, liability can be shown simply by showing evidence that a doctor missed a diagnosis or made some other medical mistake. To prove negligence in a medical malpractice case, you’ll need to show that the doctor’s actions were below the standard of care and that this failure directly resulted in your injuries.
The term “standard of care” refers to what’s expected of health professionals in their field. It’s based on what other professionals in similar circumstances would do under the same circumstances.
In other words, if another doctor in your area would have given you the same antibiotics for an infection as your doctor did, then it was within the standard of care for them to do so as well and you wouldn’t be able to prove negligence, even if you wound up with a severe infection.
However, if your doctor fails to prescribe these antibiotics even though every other doctor would have and you wind up with MRSA, then the judge’s final determination may be that he or she is negligent.
Demonstrating a Lack of Safety Measures
When you’re trying to prove negligence, it’s important to show evidence that there were no warnings or safety measures in place to prevent your accident. This can be done by showing that the signage was inadequate, the warning was unclear, or there were no signs at all.
Safety precautions and warnings can include things like caution signs, speed limit signs, or speed bumps, or warning signs on sharp turns and blind corners.
In places like retail stores or other public areas, signs indicating hazards like slippery floors or narrow passageways legally must be posted to warn people of hazardous conditions.
As far as product safety, any dangerous cleaning chemicals or items like gasoline cans must contain warning labels. If there’s no warning label, it could be shown that the manufacturer has direct liability for your injuries.
Proving Prior Instances of Negligence
If you’re aware of previous similar accidents, that knowledge should be introduced into evidence. Your lawyer could argue that the defendant’s failure to take action to correct the situation after being told about past accidents proves negligence.
For example, let’s say a police officer fails to investigate two separate incidents involving a drunk driver who crashed into parked cars, killing one person and injuring another.
The officer didn’t investigate because he thought the driver had no prior record and wasn’t likely to do anything wrong again.
But then, after that same driver hits and kills your loved one and is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison, you could try to prove the police department has liability for negligence because it failed to investigate the driver’s actions after being told about them on two separate occasions.
Consult an Experienced Lawyer
It’s true that proving negligence in a personal injury claim is an intimidating process, especially if you don’t know the potential pitfalls that you face on your journey to justice. Contact Greenstein & Milbauer online or at 1-800-842-8462. With the expert help of our legal team, you can make sure that you are fully prepared to obtain the maximum recovery when your case goes to court.