When you suffer an injury due to the actions or inaction of another, where to start can often be a challenge. Injuries can be costly– emotionally, physically, and financially. You may be due compensation for the expenses that you incur as a direct result of your injury if the other party’s negligence caused your injury.
Personal Injury Law exists to protect people from the burdens of injury caused by others. One way or the other, negligence usually comes into the picture for determining what party was responsible for the injury. While sometimes there may be a clear-cut case of negligence, often determining responsibility and negligence for a personal injury case can be complicated.
Negligence typically determines who’s responsible in a personal injury case, but legally negligence must meet a strict series of criteria for a party to be at fault. Typically, for someone to be considered negligent, they must have failed to take reasonable care to protect those around them, though there are more nuanced definitions to each requirement that needs to be fulfilled.
What is Negligence?
In personal injury cases, negligence is often interchangeable with fault. This isn’t to say that negligence is the same as recklessness though. Recklessness is acting with a blatant disregard for human safety or property, negligence instead focuses not on behavior but instead on the responsibility every person has to avoid injuring someone else.
Legally, negligence is more strictly defined than it may be in common use. In our society, there are many responsibilities that can potentially cause a lot of harm to others if they are neglected. Obeying traffic laws or not leaving safety hazards in public areas may be common social norms that could potentially cause serious harm to other individuals if they are neglected.
There are specific requirements for negligence that must all be met to determine that a part is negligent in your personal injury case. While determining and proving where the responsibility for your injury lies can be confusing for non-lawyers, your personal injury attorney is very experienced in the nuances of legal negligence.
What is Required for Someone to be Considered Negligent?
To prove that a party is negligent in your personal injury case, your attorney will have to prove that the four components of negligence are all true. Though personal injury cases often involve a wide range of how negligent a party was or even multiple people who are negligent, in any case of legal negligence all four of these burdens of proof must be met.
Duty of Care
The negligent party has a duty of care in some capacity to prove legal negligence. This doesn’t always have to mean that you were under their care in some professional capacity though. Under the law, every person has a duty to avoid injuring others.
Breach of Duty
This means that the other person failed to meet their duty of care. Whether this was caused by reckless or illegal actions or simply unreasonable actions that caused your injury, they could be negligent if their actions caused your injury. Proving this burden relies on proving that there were actions that they could have taken to avoid the situation.
This component of negligence connects the actions of the negligent individual directly to your injuries. For this burden to be met, your attorney will have to prove that without the actions of the other party you would not have suffered your injury. Sometimes this is straightforward, but often there are a number of factors that caused your injury, and your attorney will help you prove that you would not have been injured without the actions or inaction of the negligent party.
You must have suffered damages as a result of the injury. Damages can be financial burdens like medical expenses or lost wages, but can also apply to emotional distress, pain, and suffering. Though not all damages are financial, monetary compensation will often be the only way for a negligent individual to compensate an injured party.
Damages should be well documented. Any hardship that you receive as a direct result of the accident will be instrumental in your lawyer helping you seek damages that compensate you for the entire burden of the injury. This means you should take note of any medications, medical bills, lost wages, and potential costs in the future.
Can More Than One Person be Negligent?
Frequently more than one party can be negligent in a way that causes damages. There could be multiple actions that contributed to your accident by different people. You could even be partly negligent in your accident yourself, though this doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from compensation for your injuries.
Like many states, Nevada operates under the principle of comparative negligence. This means that any negligent actions that an injured party took that contributed to the accident can potentially reduce the liability caused by the negligence of a defendant. This is often used as a defense tactic in personal injury cases, but even if you had partial responsibility for your personal injury you probably still have a case to seek damages.
Under comparative negligence, the negligence that caused an injury is divided according to who contributed what portion of negligence to the situation that eventually caused damages. As long as it is determined your negligence was less than 51% responsible for your injuries, you’ll still be eligible for compensation. The compensation awarded to you though will be reduced by your share of the comparative negligence.
An Attorney Can Help You Prove Negligence and Get Compensated
If you’ve been injured, you may be facing serious financial struggles in addition to any pain and stress the whole ordeal brings to your life. You need the party responsible to actually take responsibility for their actions and compensate you so that you don’t continue to suffer. You need a personal injury attorney who’s well acquainted with determining and proving negligence in personal injury cases.
Here at Pacific West Injury Law, we’re experts in personal injury cases, and we’re here to serve the Las Vegas and Henderson areas. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let our attorneys look over your case and discuss how they can help you get compensated for your injuries.