What You Must Prove to Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits are a type of civil lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff, who has suffered financial losses relating to an injury they sustained in an accident, asks the court to order the defendant to pay them compensation for those losses. The defendant is a person or company that the plaintiff believes is responsible for causing the accident or failing to prevent it. The amount the plaintiff seeks includes past and future medical expenses for the injuries, as well as lost income. They sometimes also request, and the court sometimes also orders, noneconomic damages, which is compensation for how the injuries negatively affected the plaintiff’s life in ways that cannot easily be given a dollar value. To get this money, you must do a lot more than just prove that you were injured in an accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you present a strong case in your lawsuit.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must convince the court that your injuries are the defendant’s responsibility. No matter how your injuries occurred, whether you were in a car accident, the defendant’s dog bit you, you slipped and fell on a wet floor in a restaurant (premises liability), a product manufactured and sold by the defendant made you sick (product liability), or the defendant misdiagnosed your illness and made you sicker (medical malpractice), the facts you must prove are the same:
- It was the defendant’s responsibility to ensure that their actions or property did not endanger or injure other people. This is called the duty of care.
- The defendant did not act in a way that would prevent unnecessary danger to other people, such as by disobeying traffic laws, failing to supervise their dog, or making a decision about treatment without reviewing a patient’s medical records. This is called negligence, also known as breaching the standard of care.
- Your injuries are the direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
The Burden of Proof Is on the Plaintiff
As in other types of civil lawsuits, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove that they suffered harm because of the defendant’s actions. You do this by presenting evidence. In order to be fair to both parties, the court gives the plaintiff and the defendant a chance to present evidence. The court will rule in favor of you as a plaintiff if you can show that there is a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. By contrast, judges in criminal trials do not rule against the defendant unless the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
Let Us Help You Today
A consultation with a personal injury lawyer can be the first step to financial recovery after a serious injury. Contact a South Florida personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld to discuss your personal injury case.