87% of participants polled in a recent survey said that Americans are too litigious. These sentiments are in response to the millions of lawsuits filed every year by plaintiffs seeking legal relief. America has one of the most progressive criminal justice systems, which encourages the injured individual to seek legal redress.
A negligence claim is among the most common lawsuits in American courts today. People suffer injuries and losses every day because of other individual’s actions and inaction. When this happens, suing for damages should be your next step.
The weird bit is that not everyone understands negligence claims and its usefulness to the claimant. In this article, we break down the bits and bytes of a negligence case. Keep reading to learn more.
What’s a Negligence Claim?
Negligence refers to the failure to act with a certain level of care under specific circumstances. Such negligence may also refer to actions, inactions, or omissions when the person or organization should have exercised a duty of care. With the rise of frivolous lawsuits in the United States, it’s essential to understand and define a legitimate negligent claim.
A negligence claim is a legal lawsuit brought forward by a plaintiff following injuries suffered due to another person’s carelessness. The negligent party in such cases must take responsibility for their carelessness. The case in a negligence claim can either end at the informal settlement talks or go all the way to the trial stage.
Steps in Negligence Claim
Just like in all other cases, the process of filing a negligence claim is systematic. Here are the steps involved.
Initial Evaluation of Your Claim
Immediately a personal injury occurs, the first thing to do is to inform a lawyer. The lawyer will then discuss the matter with you over the phone or in person. Depending on their availability, you can proceed into an agreement for representation.
Investigating the Claim
Your chance of winning in a negligence case depends on the weight of your evidence. As such, your solicitor should commence investigations on the claim through your instructions. The lawyer at William McFarlane law firm seeks to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you deserve compensation.
The evidence collection process may take longer. This is often so considering the need to ensure as much substance in your case as possible. Visit here for more information on investigating negligence and accidents.
Ascertaining the Elements of a Negligence Claim
When you file a negligence case, you expect a certain level of relief most times though compensation. However, you must prove that you deserve such recompose beyond any reasonable doubt. For you to win a negligence case, you must be able to demonstrate these four elements.
The success of any legal suit depends on the viability and verifiability of the evidence presented. Most times, the court’s judgment depends on these four elements of a negligence claim to decide.
Did the defendant owe the plaintiff a legal duty of care? This question carries more weight than you could imagine during a negligence case. The legal obligation exists when the plaintiff and the defendant have an underlying relationship.
When you visit a doctor, such a medic owes you a legal duty beyond the treatment. When such legal obligation exists, there’s an expectation that the defendant should have exercised reasonable care in the given circumstances. Unless you have a competent and seasoned lawyer, it may be a tall order at times to prove the duty of care.
Breach of Duty
Once the duty of care is determinable, the next step should be to show that, indeed, the defendant breached this duty. The determination often indicates that the duty of care exists and that the defendant breached it.
The court often refers to a reasonably prudent person premise in such cases. The approach seeks to ascertain that the defendant didn’t do what an average considerate individual would have done under the same circumstances.
When an individual is guilty of a breach of duty, it means that they knew the right thing to do. Yet, due to their actions or inactions, they ended up exposing someone else to harm.
At this stage, the plaintiff and the legal team have so far proven that there was indeed a duty of care. There’s also a course to show that there was a breach of this duty. The next stage should be to ascertain that out of the act of negligence, there were injuries sustained.
The court must go beyond the claims or negligence to confirm that, without a doubt, the injuries suffered were due to the defendant’s actions or inactions. When a driver rams onto oncoming traffic while texting and driving, there’s a breach of duty. Nonetheless, the claimant must prove that they suffered injuries due to such negligence.
Did the defendant foresee that such actions could have resulted in injury? The court must further look at other related factors, such as nature’s role in further aggravating the situation. It would help to prepare well when filing for a negligence claim, given the need to prove such unique issues.
The final element in a negligence claim is showing damages to the plaintiff. It’s not enough that a court hears about a case of negligence. The plaintiff must further get their rightful compensation for such harm caused.
Most times, cases of negligence result in health-related complications that require medical attention. You might also suffer damages to your car or other personal property. Compensation seeks to return you to the position you were in before the accident and is often the last step in a case.
Filing Your Negligence Claim Now Simplified
Most people wonder how to go about the process of filing for a negligence claim. If you have suffered an injury in recent times due to neglect, you have the right to seek compensation. Negligence claims seek to ensure that the claimant gets the rightful compensation for the harm caused by the accident.
You might need a seasoned lawyer to help you navigate the process of filing and following up on the claim. Once you ascertain the four-elements of negligence, your case will be a success.
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Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.