You were on your way to work, seatbelt fastened, adhering to all of the rules of the road, when another driver whipped by and caused a collision. This recklessness has directly resulted in injuries to your person, which can take a severe toll on the following months or even years. Bills can add up, rehabilitation therapy can be quite costly, and you should be owed damages by the negligent party.
Filing a claim is the first step in the process, but in order to come to a settlement, you must then establish the four elements of negligence. These four components are required to meet the legal definition of negligence. This entire procedure can become overwhelming, especially if you are in the midst of recovering. Having a compassionate and understanding personal injury lawyer by your side can make the difference between getting the damages you deserve or not.
What Are the Four Elements of Negligence?
A personal injury claim is a case where a person, entity, or business’s negligent actions directly affected another human being in a negative manner, resulting in injury. In order to receive compensation for a personal injury claim, you must first prove the liable party is guilty of owing you a duty of care and then breaching that care, which resulted in damages. Here are the four elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
Duty of care, also known as standard of care, is the expected level of consideration for your safety and general well-being when in a public or private space. For example, when you are in your car and driving down the street, your duty of care is to follow the basic rules of the road and not speed or operate your vehicle while intoxicated. This applies to every trip you make in your car in order to keep others safe.
Breach of Care
When someone fails to adhere to the standard level of care, this is considered a breach. Any deviation or breach of the duty of care does not immediately result in cause for a personal injury claim. Someone speeding or driving while drunk is illegal, but doesn’t necessarily qualify them for a negligence case.
In order for the breach of care to be legally defined as negligent, there must be a link between the recklessness and your sustained injuries. This is often identified as causation or a cause link. This can be difficult to demonstrate and requires a lot of evidence and even expert testimony.
Causation requires you or your personal injury lawyer to thoroughly exhibit that, if not for the liable party’s actions, you would not have been injured.
The final element is the resulting damages. Damages are losses incurred during the accident, and are broken into two different categories:
- Economic damages: These are losses that are physically tangible and easily measurable and can include any hospital expenses, lost wages due to inability to go to work, physical therapy, prescription medications, and more.
- Non-economic damages: Losses not as easily equated to a specific amount of money are considered non-economic. Your personal injury lawyer can help discuss with you an appropriate financial equivalent. Possible non-economic damages for a personal injury case include loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, depression, and more.
For more information regarding the four elements of negligence, contact a New Port Richey personal injury lawyer today.
Need Help Filing Your Personal Injury Claim? McPherson & Thomas, P.A. Can Assist You Today
Many insurance companies will try to get you to avoid filing a claim and skip straight to a settlement. Commonly, this will not be enough to properly pay your incurred damages. McPherson & Thomas, P.A. will fight diligently to ensure you get every penny you deserve.
Our team has happily served the New Port Richey community in Florida for over 20 years and has helped our clients recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. We pride ourselves on personalized customer service that will guide you from the initial consultation all the way to the end settlement. Additionally, we don’t charge a single penny unless your case wins. To see how we can best help you, give us a call today at (727) 848-8892 or use our free online contact form.