A personal injury attorney victims and families rely on can assist those who have suffered losses following an accident. There are various ways that an accident can occur. At times, taking legal action may be the most appropriate course of action to hold the responsible party accountable and retain compensation for some of the losses that victims face. Securing legal services can help ensure an outcome that covers damages according to our friends at Ward & Ward Law Firm. Although it may be possible for victims to represent themselves pro se (sans attorney), keep in mind that the plaintiff holds the burden of proof and must provide evidence that ties each element to the case. An attorney can assist with this by carefully examining the claim and working with their clients to gather pieces of evidence and, most importantly, build a strong case against the defendant while also negotiating with their legal team.
The Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is a complicated legal concept that an attorney can play a crucial role in assisting with. When a person suffers an injury resulting from another party’s negligence, they are likely at fault for the accident. Although victims may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party, they hold the burden of proof to receive a settlement for their losses. Personal injuries typically settle outside of the courtroom, but when they do make it to litigation, cases are overseen by the civil court. It’s important to note that civil cases hold a much lower burden of proof than criminal cases. A personal injury attorney Indianapolis, IN will share that the victim must prove upon the preponderance of the evidence that it’s more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence was responsible, or at least partly responsible for causing the damages that resulted.
Key Elements of Proving Negligence
Successful case outcomes for personal injury claims must have specific elements supported by key evidence. These elements are essential because they show that the defendant was negligent and that the victims experienced injuries that came at a cost (both financially and physically). Elements an attorney will look for include:
- Duty of Care: the defendant was required to act in a specific way
- A Failure to Uphold a Duty of Care: when the responsible party’s actions fail to uphold the standard of care
- Causation: the damages would not have occurred if the defendant had not breached their duty of care
- Damages: as a result of the accident, the victim has suffered damages
Proving negligence is not always a straightforward process, and victims will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to carefully investigate the case details and help determine whether each necessary element is present to deliver a positive outcome that results in compensation for the losses faced by victims. It’s important to note that one of the most critical aspects of proving negligence is tying evidence to each element required in personal injury cases. When meeting with an attorney, they will likely ask to review the following:
- Medical Documentation
- Accident/Police Reports
- Eyewitness Statements
- Proof of Lost Wages
The days, weeks, and months following an accident that has resulted in injuries and losses can be a trying time for victims. At times, damages and financial losses can be devastating for victims, impacting their quality of life and ability to make ends meet. For more information about the services a personal injury attorney provides to victims in their time of need, schedule a consultation before it’s too late.