Proving Negligence

In a personal injury case, it is often crucial for the plaintiff to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Without proof that the defendant acted negligently, the defendant usually cannot be held legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. Though there are exceptions in some areas of personal injury law, understanding the concept of negligence is important in nearly every situation.

Negligence simply means that a person failed to act in a way that demonstrates a reasonable standard of care for the safety and well-being of others. For example, if a homeowner discovers that his porch step is falling apart and could present a safety hazard to visitors, he could reasonably be expected to fix it. The reasonable standard is not the same as the “common” standard. That is, even if the vast majority of homeowners claimed that they would not fix the faulty step, they would still be considered negligent in failing to do so.

To prove negligence in a personal injury case, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate three main points. If we use the faulty step example from above:

First, the plaintiff must prove that the homeowner knew or should have known that his porch step was faulty, thus posing a safety hazard to everyone who walks on it.

Second, the plaintiff will present evidence showing that the homeowner failed to fulfill his obligation and did not repair the broken step or warn visitors of the potential danger.

Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate a direct causal relationship between the faulty step and his injuries. For example, he might show that the step collapsed under him, causing him to fall and injure himself.

Solid evidence is needed in all three components in order to prove negligence in court. To make sure that your case is as strong as it can be, you will need the assistance of an experienced Wausau personal injury lawyer. Call Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, today 800-242-2874 to learn more.