Most personal injury lawsuits are based upon the legal theory of negligence. The basic idea behind this theory is that all of us owe a duty to others to minimize the risk of harming them in an accident; if we fail in that duty, and our failure causes an accident that hurts another party, we can be held liable for that party’s damages.
This theory may seem straightforward enough on its surface, but it can be highly complex when applied to the specific details of any one case. If you are the injured party, you have to prove that you suffered damages as a result of the accident, that the other party was negligent, and that the other party’s negligence was the cause of your damages.
Motor vehicle accidents
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way to recover compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, the wages you lost while you were unable to return to work, pain and suffering, and more. But first, you have to prove your case. You will have to provide as much evidence as you can about the accident and convince the court that the other party caused your damages. This isn’t easy, especially if months have gone by since the accident and you can’t find witnesses who saw the accident.
Negligence per se
In some cases, a concept known as negligence per se can make the work easier for the injured and their families. Negligence per se is a legal principle that holds that a defendant was negligent if they violated a law that is designed to protect safety.
For instance, if you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you can show police records of the drunk driver’s arrest following the accident. This establishes that the other driver was breaking a safety-related law at the time of the accident, and therefore the court presumes that they were negligent. This would save you several difficult steps as you prove your case.