Proving Negligence In A Florida Personal Injury Case
If you sustain an injury because of another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and obtain compensation. To ensure only genuine cases are brought forward and only truly deserving victims receive payment, negligence laws require plaintiffs seeking compensation for accident-related injuries to prove several key things before they can receive compensation.
Generally, when it comes to proving negligence and ensuring you obtain compensation in a Florida personal injury case, you need to establish four main elements. These are:
- Existence of a legal duty of care
- Defendant’s breach of that duty
Existence of a Legal Duty of Care
First, to prove a case of negligence, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. In simple words, “duty of care” is a party’s legal obligation to do their best to avoid causing harm to another. From a legal perspective, everyone has a duty of care to others. Drivers, for example, have a duty to drive safely and sensibly to avoid accidents with other vehicles or road users.
Defendant’s Breach of Duty
Once you prove the existence of a legal duty of care, you need to show that the defendant breached that duty of care. In the case of drivers, one example of a breach of duty of care would be if a driver runs a red light or fails to stop at a stop sign. Running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign constitutes unsafe driving and unsafe driving constitutes a breach of duty of care since all drivers are required to drive safely to avoid accidents.
Generally, under causation, you need to prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused your injuries and that were it not for the defendant’s actions, you would not have suffered injuries. For example, in the case of a driver who runs a red light, this can involve proving that, had the driver not run a red light, there would be no injury.
Once you have established the above elements, you need to show that you suffered actual damages so you can be financially compensated. Damages in a personal injury case include, among others;
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Damages are categorized into two main groups: economic/special damages and non-economic/general damages. While special damages such as lost wages pertain to the financial losses a victim has endured due to their injury, general damages such as pain and suffering pertain to the physical, emotional, or mental suffering a victim has suffered as a result of their injuries.
It is important to note that you can only be compensated for the damages you can prove. Usually, proving economic damages is more straightforward than proving non-economic damages. However, it is not impossible to prove non-economic damages. Just make sure you hire a skilled personal injury attorney if you believe you have suffered non-economic losses because of your personal injury.
Contact a Parkland Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve suffered a personal injury in Florida and need help proving your case and recovering compensation, contact Lyons & Snyder Trial attorneys today to speak to one of our skilled and dedicated Parkland personal injury lawyers. We can help you establish a case of negligence and prove all the damages you suffered after your accident.