After an automobile accident, if the client has sustained injuries that have occurred in direct result of the accident then one must prove that the defendant’s actions were negligent. According to the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, the definition of negligence is stated as, “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances”. The importance of proving the defendant’s actions negligent is significant because it circumstantiates that he or she is indeed the person who is at fault.

Proving the actions were negligent

There are four elements in establishing if one’s actions were negligent:

The first thing we must do is to prove that there was a legal duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. For example, the driver of a car has a duty to obey the speed limit. Once confirmed that there was a legal duty owed, then there has to be proof that the defendant has breached that duty. An example of a breach in duty is the exceeding of that set speed limit and causing injury to another person or persons. Judge Learned Hand provides us with a simple formula to prove that there was a breach of duty. If B < PL, where B is burden of taking precautions, P is the probability of loss, and L is the gravity of loss, then there is negligence liability for the defendant. The next phase in proving negligence is examining the plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury. This is often done by an examination of the body provided by a licensed physician or the examination of one’s personal or real property by a licensed professional. The proof that the defendants breach of duty caused the injuries is the most important step. This is known as the “cause of duty”, which means caused by the defendants’ breach of duty; the injury was “in fact” caused by the breach of duty.

If each one of these elements is proven to contain the information to uphold the claim that the defendant’s actions were negligent then your attorney can move forward with your case. The term negligence is often times obscured and difficult to understand. If you have recently sustained injuries from an automobile accident and feel as though the defendant’s actions meet the elements of being negligent, then you are encouraged to seek out a consultation from a personal injury attorney.