If you’re involved in an accident caused by another person’s reckless or thoughtless actions, you can recover monetary compensation through a Colorado personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. However, the right to file doesn’t mean you will automatically receive compensation. Before receiving compensation, you must first prove that the other party was negligent.
What Is Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
Negligence is when an individual or entity fails to behave in accordance with the legal standard of care and safety. Negligence is defined by the four elements that construct the theory of negligence.
Duty of Care
Duty of care is a legal concept encompassing the idea that a person or entity is legally required to behave with reasonable care to prevent harming others. The idea of reasonable care is based on what a reasonable person would do or not do. Generally, the duty of care depends on the relationship between the at-fault party and the person pursuing a personal injury case.
- Employers: They are legally responsible for ensuring that the work environment is safe.
- Property owners: They are responsible for maintaining their property to a standard that prevents injury or unreasonable risks on the premises.
- Drivers: All drivers are responsible for driving in such a way that prevents and helps avoid accidents.
- Medical professionals: Those who fall under the umbrella of medical professionals are held to a higher degree of “special duty of care” as they are trusted with the safety of the general public.
- Manufacturers: Companies that make products for consumers are legally responsible for ensuring their products are safe.
Once it’s established that the other party owed you a duty of care, the next step is to prove they failed to uphold their duty of care.
Breach of Duty
Breach of duty is the action or inaction of the liable party that caused the accident. When determining if someone behaved negligently, their behavior is compared to how a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation. Individuals or entities breach their duty of care when they fail to be mindful or careful in their situation. Instances of breaching of duty include:
- Drunk driving
- Failing to follow proper medical procedure
- Distributing an unsafe product without proper warning
- Not warning possible guests of a dangerous element on the property
Negligence is failing to behave in line with the legal standard of reasonable care. Any behavior or absence of behavior that harms someone is a breach of duty.
Causation requires showing that the other party’s breach of duty was the actual or proximate cause of your injury and losses.
- Actual cause: States that the injury or the accident would not have happened if not for the other party breaching their duty of care.
- Proximate cause: This legal idea considers whether or not the other party could have foreseen the accident or injury. They may not be held liable if the injury or accident was unforeseeable.
Generally, this is where supportive evidence is critical. The evidence you provide must demonstrate a direct link between the other party’s actions or inactions to the accident and your injury.
The final element of driver negligence is damages, which is the legal term used to describe the monetary award you may receive at the end of your negligence claim or lawsuit. Calculating damages can require extensive investigation into the accident, your injury, and the effects it has on you currently and in the future.
Build a Strong Personal Injury Claim With the Help of Mintz Law Firm
Pursuing financial compensation after an accident is not always an easy task, especially if your injury has severely impacted your life. You don’t have to do it alone. Mintz Law Firm is dedicated to representing injured victims and pursuing their right to compensation on their behalf so they can focus on their recovery. If you’ve been injured because of someone’s negligence, schedule a consultation with one of Colorado’s personal injury lawyers and get started on recovering the compensation you are owed.