Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

Video: To win your West Palm Beach accident case, what proof do you need?

Posted · Add Comment

Personal Injury Video Law Tip

“To win your accident case, you have to prove that somebody owed you a duty, they breached that duty, and that breach caused injury or damages to you. So whether a duty exists or not depends upon the laws of your state, community standards, and those type of things. Then you determine whether they breached that duty. It comes down to you: what injuries you have that are new and different from any medical conditions or injuries that you have before the accident.”
-Bill Abel, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer at McLaughlin & Stern LLP in West Palm Beach


Learn More from our Personal Injury Lawyers

Bill Abel circle photo avatar personal injury lawyer West Palm Beach

He Said: Bill Abel, Personal Injury Lawyer

Topic: To win your West Palm Beach accident case, what proof do you need?

In order to win your West Palm Beach accident case, you need to prove four things:

1) that the Defendant owed you a duty to act in a certain way and,
2) failed to act as required, which
3) proximately caused,
4) injuries and damages.

A Plaintiff must prove all four of these elements in order to establish a case of negligence. Let’s examine each of these elements more closely.

Duty – Under the law, an individual does not owe a duty to every single other person, but to only those people where it is foreseeable that they could be injured by the individual’s acts. Sometimes there a law, statutes and codes, that create a duty for people to act in a certain way. Other times, it depends on the situation as to whether a duty exists. The standard used under these circumstances is “how would a reasonably prudent man act under like circumstances.”

Breach – Under the law, even if a person was required to behave a certain way, they also need to fail to act as the law requires. To win your accident case, depending upon the case, establishing duty and breach can be easy and it can be extremely difficult. For example, in a rear-end automobile accident case, establishing duty and breach would be easy, because the law does not allow someone to rear-end another vehicle. In contrast, in a medical malpractice case, it can be very difficult to establish that the doctor breached the standard of care that is required of a doctor.

Causation – Once you have established that someone failed to do something that they should have done, a Plaintiff must next prove that it is because of this failure that they are injured. This becomes an issue with accidents where an individual suffers a soft-tissue injury or the injury may be attributed to degenerative conditions. In cases where the injuries are catastrophic, causation is usually not a defense in the case.

Damages – Finally, the injury you suffered has to be significant enough to incur damages. For example, you may be involved in a serious car accident clearly caused by another driver where you only suffer bumps and bruises. As a result, there would not be any damages associated with the accident, and therefore, no case. Damages typically comprise past and future medical bills, past and future lost income, and past and future pain and suffering.

In my experience, every case is weak in at least one of the four elements. This does not mean that there is no legal claim or that you can not win your accident case. It just affects the value of the case. I spend a lot of time with my clients explaining the strengths AND weaknesses of their cases. Oftentimes, clients believe that just because they feel hurt, that is enough to get money for the accident. Clients must understand that, as the Plaintiff, they must prove each of the four elements by the greater weight of the evidence. Under the law, that is the only way a Plaintiff can win their accident case. – Bill Abel

Dena Sisk Foman circle photo avatar personal injury lawyer West Palm Beach

She Said: Dena Sisk Foman, Personal Injury Lawyer

Topic: To win your West Palm Beach accident case, what proof do you need?

There are major two hurdles to winning your West Palm Beach accident cases and they build on each other. The first question that must be answered affirmatively by a jury is “Did the party you are suing cause the accident?” This is called liability. You must prove that the party you are suing was the legal or proximate cause of an accident. That does not always mean they have to be 100% at fault but they must be some percentage at fault before you can proceed further. If the jury decides that the party you are suing is not the legal cause of the accident, the case is done and there is no need to go further.

If you are able to get beyond the first hurdle of liability, then you get to the questions on causation and damages. If the adverse party did cause an accident, does that necessarily mean that the accident caused injury? Not always. A jury can find an accident was the fault of another driver, but that the accident was either trivial or for some other reason was not the legal cause of the injury. Again, there would be no recovery if the jury determines that the accident was not the legal cause of the injury.

If the accident was the fault of the adverse party and the accident caused injury, then you are able to recover damages and win your accident case. The jury will determine the amount of money for past medical bills, past lost wages, and past pain and suffering. They can also consider an award for future medical bills, future lost wages, or future loss of earning capacity and future pain and suffering. – Dena Sisk Foman

Personal injury law video number 100048:
Video: To win your West Palm Beach accident case, what proof do you need?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *