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Determining Negligence

Many times, motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-falls, and other types of personal injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. In a personal injury case, the plaintiff, the injured person, has the burden of proof, which means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent.

If you have been injured in a Louisville personal injury case, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Time may be of the essence, and it is essential that you contact an experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining your injuries.

An experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer will be able to review all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you and determine how best to proceed forward.

Proving Negligence

In order to prove negligence in a personal injury case, the injured plaintiff has the burden of proving the following four elements:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  • The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff
  • The defendant’s breach of the applicable duty of care was the actual and legal (i.e. proximate) cause of the injured plaintiff’s damages
  • The plaintiff sustained injuries and damages as a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s negligence.

Special Duties of Care

The duty of care owed by a defendant to a plaintiff depends upon the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, in a motor vehicle accident case, a defendant driver owes all other drivers on the road to act as a reasonably prudent and careful driver would act under the same or similar circumstances.

If the defendant driver fails to act reasonably, and, as a result, causes an accident and injures someone, then the defendant driver may be deemed negligent of providing the proper duty of care.

If the personal injuries are sustained on someone else’s property, the duty owed by the defendant landowner to the plaintiff depends upon the plaintiff’s status on the land.

For example, if the plaintiff is a business invitee (i.e. on the defendant landowner’s land for the purpose of benefitting the landowner, such as a customer at a grocery store or shopping mall), then the defendant landowner owes the plaintiff a higher duty of care than if the plaintiff were a social guest or a trespasser.

Healthcare providers owe their patients a special duty of care. Health care providers, including general practitioners and family doctors, are held to the standard of care of a reasonably prudent doctor under the same or similar circumstances in that geographical area. A specialist may be held to a national standard of care.

Potential Damages Due to Negligence

Once an injured plaintiff has proven the duty, breach, and causation elements of negligence, then the plaintiff must prove the amount, nature, and extent of damages sustained. These damages can include some or all of the following:

  • Payment of medical bills and other related expenses
  • Compensation for time missed from work (i.e. lost wages)
  • Past, present, and future pain and suffering
  • Past, present, and future mental anguish
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium or spousal support 

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Personal injuries are sustained in many different ways. An experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer will be able to help you to prove all of the elements of negligence in your personal injury case and can assist you with maximizing the amount of your damages.

You should feel free to contact our experienced Louisville personal injury lawyers at any time, via telephone or email, for an initial consultation.