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How do you prove negligence in a personal injury?

Whether you are hurt in a car accident, at work or through another event due to the negligence of another, getting the medical attention you deserve sometimes requires legal action. Medical care is expensive, even if you have insurance. Depending on your injuries, you may need major surgery or long-term rehabilitation. Most people do not have the kind of insurance that covers 100 percent of their care, so you could be looking at paying some hefty bills.

To hold someone or some business responsible by law, you must prove that it was their negligence that led to your injuries, according to FindLaw. There are four elements to establish in a negligence case, which are noted below.

You must prove that the defendant did not provide the standard of care mandated by the situation. This standard is based on what a “reasonable person” would or would not do in the same situation. For example, a reasonable person would have stopped at the stop sign and looked both ways before pulling into the intersection that you were crossing.

A second item to prove is that the defendant violated the obligation to maintain a safe environment by acting contrary to how a reasonable person would. In other words, if the average person with the understanding that his actions—the same actions that the defendant took—may cause harm to another person, would choose not to take those actions, the defendant may be found negligent.

You also have to prove that the defendant’s acts directly caused your injury. Simply being negligent does not mean the defendant caused your injuries. This element also takes into account whether the defendant could have reasonably known that his actions may cause harm to another. If a random act of nature is involved in causing the injury, you may not be able to prove negligence.

Finally, the court must be able to compensate you or award damages. This usually involves monetary compensation for your medical expenses, or property damage if that is the case.

Although this article contains important information about personal injury cases, it is not meant to be legal advice.

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