To win a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the court has to determine negligence on the defendant’s part; otherwise, there is no case. Negligence refers to the failure of one party to take what counts as reasonable care to prevent loss or injury to another person.
For example, a doctor takes an oath to ensure that the patient’s well being comes first. If a patient dies and the family has facts to show that the doctor’s actions or inactions caused the death of the patient, that qualifies as negligence. Hence, warranting a case that will lead to compensation or settlement, and, in cases of disagreement between the defendant’s insurance company and the plaintiff, they will proceed to trial.
When it comes to personal injury cases, the stakes are high since the plaintiff is dealing with an insurance company that will try to prove why they should pay the compensation. Here is all you need to know about personal injuries and negligence.
In any accident, including a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, dog bite, or medical malpractice, among others, the plaintiff must prove a form of carelessness on the part of the defendant. Unless there is video evidence or written contracts in place, proving negligence in a lawsuit is not easy. Some of the factors that come into play include documents that show the defendant has a legal objective to do something, that is, the duty of care. Even in a dog bite case, the owner must ensure that their dog cannot hurt the neighbors or people passing by.
The plaintiff has to show that the defendant did not adhere to the duty of care and that damages took place as a result. The damages include economic liabilities like medical bills and the inability to work due to the injuries; hence, loss of earnings. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and mental torture, among other things.
Types of Negligence
There are different types of negligence. They include the following.
1. Gross Negligence
Gross negligence refers to a “lack of diligence or care.” It may also refer to any conscious or voluntary action or lack thereof conducted in a reckless disregard of one’s legal duty and the consequences of an action to another party.
One of the most common types of gross negligence is malpractice claims. An example is using unsanitary equipment that leads to health damages or amputating the wrong leg.
2. Contributory Negligence
This refers to a situation where the plaintiff ignored due care to avoid the consequences of the defendant’s negligence. In this situation, the plaintiff and the defendant are both at fault, but the plaintiff still chooses to file for damages. The compensation will be less because the plaintiff is also at fault, but it does not omit the fact that the defendant also made a mistake.
3. Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence is a form of partial legal defense, reducing the damages a plaintiff can receive in a claim. This amount is determined by the degree to which the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to their injury. If you choose to settle out of court, the settlement you get is comparative to the measure of your fault in the accident. Some cases are a combination of both contributory and comparative negligence.
4. Vicarious Negligence
It applies to cases like dog injuries, where the dog owner is responsible for the mistakes of their pet. They are the ones who will pay for the damages that the dog causes the plaintiff.
Why You Need a Lawyer
There are several reasons you need a lawyer in proving negligence and winning a personal injury claim. The knowledge and experience they have will come in handy in the process of filing your claim. They save you time and money by handling the paperwork, expediting the process, and filing with the statute of limitation period.
They also value your claim to ensure that you do not receive less than you should and represent you in court if you cannot settle with the insurance company. Lawyers will also help you prove negligence in cases where you are unable to do it by yourself.
Should You File for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you have a personal injury claim to make, contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer will explain your rights and the type of negligence on which you can base your lawsuit. You cannot diminish the role of a lawyer. Even if it is a straightforward case, ensure you use a lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf so that you get the most out of the settlement agreement.