Proving Negligence in Your Northeastern Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claim
If someone else’s actions caused you physical harm, you might have a valid personal injury claim. However, you need to show the other party was negligent before you can collect any compensation. Depending on the circumstances and type of accident, the claims process can be complicated. Rather than pursue a claim alone, consider hiring a Northeastern Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer to help.
At Needle Law Firm, we routinely represent clients for a wide variety of personal injury claims. We can help you prove the main elements of negligence to receive the compensation you are owed.
The first element of negligence is to show the defendant owed you some legal duty. For example, business owners have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and free from hazards for visiting guests. Drivers owe others on the road a duty to act with reasonable care and follow traffic laws.
In other situations, the obligation arises from the relationship. For example, medical professionals owe their patients a duty to act with a standard level of care.
Breach of Duty
If you can establish the defendant owed you a duty, you need to show he breached that duty. For example, someone who is speeding and causes an accident, or a business that fails to clean up a spill that has been on the floor for an hour.
The next element of negligence is causation. To prove causation, you need to show that the other party’s breach of duty is what caused your injuries. Courts look at whether the defendant’s actions produced foreseeable consequences.
Once you establish the defendant owed you a legal duty, he breached that duty, and their actions were the proximate cause of your injuries, you need to show damages. If you are injured, but you don’t see a doctor at all or lose any time from work, you won’t have a personal injury claim. These injury claims compensate victims for his financial losses and pain and suffering. Without any damages, the at-fault party’s insurance company will not offer you any money.
Negligence Per Se
There are some situations where someone can be found negligent without needing to prove he was at fault. A violation of a law or other regulation can be enough to show negligence per se. To prove negligence per se, you need to demonstrate:
- The statute’s purpose, at least in part, is to protect a group of people’s interests, rather than the general public;
- The law must be clear in how it applies to the defendant’s conduct;
- The defendant must have violated the law; and
- The violation is the proximate cause of your injuries.
With negligence per se, you don’t need to show that the defendant was reasonable or not. You only need to show there is a law, and the defendant broke it, which caused your injuries.
Contact a Northeastern Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
If you need assistance pursuing a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania, let our experienced Northeastern Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers assist. To learn how we can help you pursue a claim for damages, contact the Needle Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.