In order to prove that an injury has been caused by someone else’s negligence, an accident victim must demonstrate existence of all 4 elements of negligence.
The victim’s lawyer must show that the defendant had a duty of care towards the injured victim/client.
We all have a duty of care to protect others when they are in a situation where they might be harmed. The lawyer must show that the victim was in a zone of foreseeable harm, in order to claim that the victim/client needed the defendant’s protection. Still, there are times when a defendant cannot claim that the victim had left a zone of foreseeable harm. For instance, that would be the case, if a child got injured at a day care facility.
The victim’s attorney must prove that the defendant had breached his or her duty of care.
In legal terms, a breach has been committed if a defendant has failed to so what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation. Lawyers must prove the existence of the breach by showing that a preponderance of the evidence provides proof that the breach had been committed. In other words, the evidence does not have to erase every shadow of doubt in the jurors’ minds.
The victim’s case must make it obvious that the negligent action done by the defendant was the proximate cause of the injuries sustained by the victim.
That means that the same actions cannot be pointed to as acts that remotely caused those particular injuries. By the same token, the charge of negligence will not hold, if a victim/plaintiff tries to claim that the ultimate results of the defendant’s careless and neglectful actions remained unpredictable. That is why a good Personal Injury Lawyer in Sudbury seeks to keep an insurance company from seeking an early settlement to a given client’s case.
The fourth element of negligence concerns the loss suffered by the victim/plaintiff.
That loss has to be the result of quantifiable damages. If the damages cannot be quantified, the victim cannot have a well-founded charge of negligence. In the absence of proof of negligence, the attorney cannot offer support for an alleged case of injury to the victim’s person.
Sometimes, though the level of the defendant’s careless and neglectful behavior makes the extent of damage quite obvious. Indeed, it might be so obvious that the judge and jury want to punish the person that has behaved in such an unseemly manner.
Then the judge might decide to hit the defendant with punitive damages. That is money that acts like a fine. The victim does not need it, in order to get back to the point at which he or she was before the injury-causing accident.