Unfortunately, accidents happen and tend to be inevitable. If you have
been injured due to the negligence of someone else and want to file a
personal injury claim, it’s important to prove that all of the elements
are in place. The elements prove that the defendant was negligent and
that his or her actions caused the plaintiff’s injury. Additionally,
to be successful in your lawsuit, you must prove that you suffered damages.
In this case, the damages would be an injury. Here are the elements of
a negligence case.
In many negligence cases, the outcome depends on whether the defendant
owed a duty to the plaintiff. The law recognizes that there is a relationship
between the defendant and plaintiff where the defendant is expected to
act a certain way toward the plaintiff. In a personal injury case, the
judge is the one who determines whether there was a duty of care owed
to the plaintiff by the defendant. For example, if the plaintiff is a
patient and the defendant is a doctor, the defendant owes the plaintiff
a duty of being obligated to provide them with reasonable and competent
Breach of Duty
When a defendant breaches the duty owed to the plaintiff, he or she can
be held responsible for negligence. The defendant breaches their duty
by not providing reasonable care or by not acting in a reasonable manner,
which leads to the plaintiff suffering injuries. The jury is responsible
for deciding whether a defendant breached a duty to the plaintiff.
Cause In Fact
Cause in fact means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s
actions directly caused his or her injury. This is also commonly known
as “but for” causation. It means that if not for the actions
of the defendant, the plaintiff never would have suffered an injury.
Proximate cause is the level of responsibility of the defendant in a negligence
case. This means that the defendant in a negligence case is only responsible
for any harm that he or she could have foreseen happening as a result
of his or her actions. If the extent of damages that occurred is outside
the defendant’s scope, the plaintiff would not be able to prove
that the defendant’s actions caused his or her damages or injury.
In any negligence case, the plaintiff must prove that they were injured.
That means that merely proving that the defendant did not exercise reasonable
care is not enough to prove negligence. The failure to exercise reasonable
care must result in real damages caused to the plaintiff, to whom the
defendant owed a duty of care.
If you believe you have a personal injury case because of someone else’s
negligence, it’s important to hire a skilled attorney to represent you. Our
Wisconsin personal injury lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy are dedicated to helping individuals seek compensation
for the damages they have sustained.
Contact our legal team to protect your rights.