Slate’s Law Blog

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

If you are injured in an accident or another incident resulting from someone else’s negligence, you should be thinking about your options for filing a personal injury claim. While there are different theories of liability in personal injury cases, most personal injury lawsuits require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was negligent in order to win the case and to receive damages. How can you prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit? You will need to understand the general elements of a negligence claim, and then you will need to work with a New Mexico personal injury attorney to determine the specific elements that are required to prove negligence based on the particular kind of personal injury claim you are filing.

Understand the General Elements of a Negligence Claim

Every type of personal injury lawsuit will have its own specific requirements to prove negligence, which we will discuss briefly below, but there are more general elements of a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. Those required elements include the following:

  • Duty of care, which means the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  • Breach of the duty of care, which means the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by behaving in a negligent manner;
  • Causation, which means the defendant’s negligence, or breach of the duty of care, caused the plaintiff’s injury; and
  • Damages, which means that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of their injuries caused by the defendant’s negligence.

While the specific meaning of negligence will depend upon the type of personal injury case, and the details of how and where the plaintiff was injured, those meanings will fall within a broader understanding of negligence. According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII), negligence means “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances,” and the “behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.”

Know the Specific Elements Required to Prove Negligence in Your Case

Specific kinds of personal injury lawsuits will understand negligence a bit differently, so it is important to know the particular elements required to prove negligence in your case. While the general meaning of negligence cited above will apply, the specifics will be different based on the type of personal injury case.

For example, in a premises liability lawsuit, negligence typically means that a property owner or property manager failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner. In a medical malpractice claim, negligence will usually mean that the healthcare provider failed to behave in a manner that a healthcare provider in the same field and geographic area would have considered reasonable. Your personal injury attorney can discuss the specific ways of proving negligence in your case.

Seek Advice From a Santa Fe Personal Injury Lawyer

Were you injured because of another party’s negligence? You could be eligible to file a personal injury claim in New Mexico. One of our experienced Santa Fe personal injury lawyers can evaluate your case today and provide you with more information about proving negligence in order to obtain financial compensation for your losses. Contact Slate Stern Law to learn more about how we can assist you.