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How to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit


Whether you have been injured in a car accident or on someone else’s property due to a hazardous condition, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are certain elements you must meet in order to prove negligence and convince the jury to award you the damages you deserve. 

The following are the four elements to prove negligence in a personal injury claim: 

  1. Duty of Care – The defendant (the at-fault party) had a duty to watch out for the plaintiff’s (the injured party) safety. For example, drivers have a duty to obey all the traffic laws and avoid endangering the lives of others on or near the road. Regarding premises liability cases, property owners have a duty to ensure that the premises are safe for guests and patrons. 

  1. Breach of Duty – The defendant breached their duty of care by being either careless or reckless. When it comes to collisions, a driver may breach their duty by texting while driving, ignoring stop signs and traffic signals, or otherwise operating a vehicle in a dangerous manner. In premises liability claims, a property owner may fail to repair an issue or post a warning sign to ensure guests avoid putting themselves at risk of injury. 

  1. Causation – The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligent conduct directly caused their injuries. Proving this element is based on the “preponderance of the evidence,” which means the defendant’s negligence “is more likely than not” the cause of your injury. You can meet this burden of proof by presenting evidence from the accident scene, witness testimony, and even expert testimony, such as statements from an accident reconstruction specialist. 

  1. Damages – The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. There are two main types of damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include tangible losses, such as property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. In contrast, non-economic damages include intangible losses, like pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress. 

One of the most important steps to take after suffering an injury and getting the proper medical treatment is hiring a skilled personal injury attorney. At Percy Law Group, PC, we have more than 30 years of legal experience maximizing our clients’ awards and settlements by providing them with knowledgeable and personalized legal services. 

Injured in an accident in Massachusetts? Contact us today at (508) 206-9900 for a free initial consultation. Our firm has offices in Taunton, Cranston, Quincy, Dartmouth, and Fall River! 

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