How to Prove a Personal Injury Claim
If you have been injured by another person and need to pursue compensation, you will have to prove your claim even if you don’t plan to go to court. Insurance companies will demand proof that it was the other person’s fault and that you were injured before they pay your claim. And of course, they may refuse to settle your claim for a reasonable amount, meaning that you may have to go to court even if you don’t want to. Even if you aren’t sure you want to pursue a claim, a San Luis Obispo accident lawyer can provide valuable guidance as to the steps you will need to take in order to get the compensation you need.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
In order to understand how to prove your case, you need to first know that every personal injury claim has three basic elements:
- The other party owed you a legal duty of care.
- The other party breached that duty.
- You were injured as a result of the breach.
In order to prevail on your claim, you will need to prove each of these elements.
The Duty of Care
For the first element, you will need to prove that the other party owed you a duty of care. This will depend on the nature of your case. For example:
- Motor vehicle accidents: all drivers owe other drivers on the road a duty to drive safely
- Premises liability/ Slip and fall cases: property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is safe for guests and visitors
- Medical malpractice: doctors owe their patients a duty to provide treatment at a level consistent with the standard of care
- Product liability cases: manufacturers and distributors have a duty to ensure that they are not selling defective products to consumers
The Defendants Breach of the Duty of Care
For most accident cases, proving that the other party breached the duty of care is the critical element. Typically, this entails proving that the other party was negligent – that they failed to take reasonable care that a prudent person would in the same or similar circumstances.
In many ways, this is the element that non-lawyers struggle with. Proving negligence requires knowledge of the law as well as knowing which facts prove that the other party was negligent. A single, seemingly insignificant fact can make or break your claim. A San Luis Obispo accident lawyer will know not only which duty of care applies to your case, but will know which facts are pertinent to proving that the other party breached their duty of care.
Finally, you need to prove that you were injured as a result of the accident. This may seem obvious, but people are often surprised at the level of documentation they need to produce. It is imperative that you keep copies of all medical bills and records and that they clearly indicate your injuries are the result of the accident. A San Luis Obispo accident lawyer can help ensure that your medical records support your claim.
Injured? Call A San Luis Obispo Accident Lawyer For Help
San Luis Obispo accident lawyer Earl E. Conaway, III helps people who have been injured get the compensation they need. If you’ve been injured and don’t know where to turn, contact us today at 805-546-8797 for a free consultation.