If you experience a personal injury and feel it was caused by someone else you may think you can sue for compensation.
Most personal injury lawsuits are related to claiming negligence on the part of the accused. You become the ‘plaintiff’ and it is your responsibility to prove your case. You have the burden of proof in order to bring a lawsuit against the accused.
The accused does not need to do anything so it is up to you and your personal injury lawyer to prove beyond a preponderance of evidence that your suit is worthy.
In claiming negligence you must establish that the accused party failed to do or provide something that was his duty. This part is seldom disputed in court and is established before the case is heard. The ‘defendant’ usually claims to have no responsibility in this act and requests the claim be dismissed. Most personal injury lawyers will not handle your case if there is any doubt in this area. You must be able to prove that the defendant breached his duty in specific ways, acts, or knowing disregard of responsibility.
The consequences of breach of duty is called causation. You must be able to prove that the breach of duty was the direct or proximate cause of your personal injury. You can not claim injury from observing a breach of duty or negligence. You must be directly involved and personally affected.
This last point means that you have to prove you were injured because of the defendants actions or negligence; i.e. that you actually have personal injuries. This is best provided by an expert such as a medical doctor and medical records. At this point the costs of treatment will be considered for compensation. Your personal injury lawyer may also introduce an argument for ‘pain and suffering’ compensation as part of the jury’s decision on the amount of damages to award.
In order to win at bringing a suit against a defendant you must be able to prove all three points. The defendant need only disprove one or two of the elements for a case and you will lose.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit does not mean you will automatically win. You must prove breach of duty, causation, and consequences in order to sue for personal injury.