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Justice On Your Side. Serving Savannah, Augusta, Atlanta and Beyond.

Proving Fault and Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

To file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the defendant was at fault for your accident and your injuries.

By proving that your injuries were a result of someone else’s carelessness, you’re establishing that the defendant’s actions deviated from those a reasonable person would make in a similar situation. A competent person with sound judgment would have behaved much differently than the at-fault party and would not have caused the accident to begin with.

Personal injury lawyers often use the following evidence below to construct a provable case that shows that the defendant was clearly at fault, so they can help a plaintiff recover compensation to cover their medical expenses.

Establishing Negligence

Four elements of negligence must be established to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries.

  • Duty of Care: First, the plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant had a legal obligation to provide or adhere to a reasonable duty of care. This may be easy to prove in some situations. For instance, all US state drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of the other drivers on the road. In Georgia, all drivers must operate their vehicles safely.
  • Duty of Care Breach: Once your lawyer has been able to establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to you, the plaintiff, you must be able to prove that they did not reasonably act responsibly. A duty breach in a drunk driving accident case would involve a driver deciding to drive drunk while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Plaintiff’s Injuries Resulting from the Breach: The plaintiff would need to prove to the court that a personal injury case is being filed due to sustained injuries due to the defendant’s breached duty of care.
  • Monetary Loss: The plaintiff will need to discuss the extent of their grievances to justify the requested restitution. This can be proven by showing an established medical record that describes their injuries and their treatment costs. You can also include other expenditures, bills, or lost income to establish your monetary loss.

Proving Damages and Causation

For this article, let’s use the car accident example once more.

Once you have proven that the defendant involved in the accident acted irresponsibly, you will need to prove damages and causation. Causation, by definition, means that the negligent actions of the defendant caused your injuries. So if the drunk driver that was mentioned earlier were driving all over the road erratically, you would be able to prove that this led to your accident as he hit your car.

Causation can be established by one or more of the following:

  • Reconstructing the accident
  • Photographs
  • Physical evidence
  • Eyewitnesses

On the other hand, damages refer to reparations that the plaintiff or claimant incurred due to the injury and accident.

Damages can include the following:

  • Property damage
  • Lost use of a limb or other physical functions
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages

You can prove any damages you sustained through medical bills, pain diary entries, medical testimony, lost wages, and other evidence.

Evidence from the Accident Scene

Some of the most important information you need for your lawsuit can be obtained from the accident scene, including:

  • Visual evidence of the losses and damage you sustained due to the at-fault party, including pictures of property damage and other key features of areas that surrounded the accident.
  • Statements from witnesses who saw the entire accident.
  • Information from police who responded to the accident and conducted an on-site investigation.

Photos from the accident scene can better describe the events that took place during the accident. With photographic evidence, others can envision the accident much easier. They also show important information that can be used to support your claim.

Suppose you suffered injuries in an automobile accident. In that case, the photographic evidence could be used by our attorneys to show the absence or presence of road conditions, skid marks, or other pertinent information to prove that the defendant (the other driver) caused the accident. Property photographs can be used in slip and fall cases to show what caused you to trip or slip and fall.

Police Reports

If police officers respond to the accident, an on-site investigation will be conducted by the responding officer. Once completed, they will conclude who they believe was at fault in the accident. A police report can provide your attorney and the court with a third-party, unbiased overview of the accident from an authoritative figure.

Our lawyers will be able to use any observations or evidence in the police report to help you build your claim. We may also ask the police officer who issued the report to testify on your behalf as an official witness.

Expert Witness Testimony

Personal injury lawsuits often require expert witnesses to testify in court to support your claim. In more complicated cases, such as medical malpractice claims, this is particularly useful. If, for example, an attorney can retain an expert witness or a doctor to testify that your injuries were a result of medical negligence, they could explain how the professional who treated you was negligent and what actions could have been taken to prevent your injuries. 

Contact The Eichholz Law Firm           

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and are looking to file a lawsuit for compensation, you will need an experienced legal team. Our personal injury lawyers will help you prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries.

To set up a free consultation, call us directly at 855-551-1019 or contact us online today. 

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