Establishing Fault In A Personal Injury Case
It happens every day. People go about their normal routine. Then, in an instant, their life is changed in a way they did not see coming, through no fault of their own. When life’s surprises inevitably happen and bills start to pile up, people are often left wondering: who can be held liable for this? The answer to that question can depend on whether someone’s negligent actions cause this injury?
How do you Prove Negligence?
When a person has been injured, in order to establish that the at-fault individual is liable for the injuries the victim must be able to prove that the person acted negligently. A person will be found “negligent” if their action or behavior is below the threshold for what is considered the “standard of care” that a reasonable person would have been expected to undertake, and if that failure caused another person harm.
There are four elements necessary to establish negligence. The Plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant owed them a duty or obligation, recognized by law, that required the defendant to conduct themselves to a certain standard for the protection of others against unreasonable risk.
- The defendant failed to conform to their duty
- There is a reasonably close causal connection between the Defendant’s non-conforming conduct and the Plaintiff’s injury
- The Plaintiff suffered damages
What is the Standard of Care?
To bring a personal injury claim based on another individual’s negligence, you must establish that the injuries occurred because the defendant breached their duty to act/provide a minimum standard of care. Generally speaking, when a person is found to have a duty of care, they will have met their duty of care if they behaved as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances – ordinary and reasonable care. If an individual did not take reasonable and ordinary care to protect against harm, or act with the degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would have done in similar circumstances, then the individual has violated the duty of care and an element to proving liability in a negligence claim has been established.
Negligence Per Se In Florida
Some Florida statutes require precautions to be taken to protect particular classes of individuals from specified harm. In certain cases, violation of such a statute establishes negligence “per se” (by/in and of itself). In order to succeed in a per se negligence charge in Florida the Plaintiff must establish that they are in the class that the Statute protects, they suffered the type of harm the statute aims to prevent, and the violation of the statute was the proximate cause of injury.
At Musleh Law Firm in Ocala, Florida, our experienced attorneys are ready to handle even the most complex personal injury cases. Contact our Ocala personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.