After someone else injures you through negligence or recklessness, proving that person’s liability could lead to compensation for your damages. A personal injury lawsuit can result in payment for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.
In Florida, winning a personal injury claim typically requires proving four main elements as the plaintiff, or injured party. You may need legal assistance with this burden of proof.
- Duty to exercise reasonable care
The duty to exercise reasonable care refers to the responsibility someone may have to you to prevent injury. Reasonable care is the amount of care a prudent party would provide in the same circumstances. In a car accident case, for example, duties of care include paying attention to the road and driving safely.
- A breach of duty of care
A breach of duty refers to an act or omission that falls outside the defendant’s legal duty of care to you. The basis of most personal injury claims in Florida is negligence. This refers to a failure to uphold a standard of care. Proving someone else’s negligence during your injury claim may take accounts from eyewitnesses, testimony from subject-matter experts, surveillance footage and other forms of evidence.
Causation is the link between the defendant’s breach of duty and your injuries. You or your attorney must show a causal relationship between the defendant’s actions and the accident or injuries in question. The defendant must have caused or considerably contributed to your damages. If causation is not present, the defendant may not be liable.
- Specific damages
The last element of proof is damages. The Florida civil justice system requires proof of real, specific damages if you wish to bring a personal injury claim. Without compensable damages, you do not have grounds for a lawsuit. Damages may include physical injuries, pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damage, lost wages and lost quality of life. The value of your case depends on the circumstances of the accident.