Suffering a personal injury caused by another person’s negligent actions is often overwhelming, to say the least. From seeking treatment to managing costly medical bills and other damages, there are a lot of unexpected and sudden pressures to handle.
At Anderson Cummings, we do not believe victims injured by the negligence of others should have to pay for the resulting damages. That said, before you can have a valid personal injury case, you must first be able to establish the burden of proof. This article discusses what that legal term means and how it impacts your ability to recover compensation.
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What is the Burden of Proof in a Texas Personal Injury Case?
Across the U.S., victims pursuing personal injury lawsuits (the plaintiffs) are charged with the burden of proof. However, what does that mean and why does that duty fall on the injured victim instead of the defendant (at-fault party)?
Since the plaintiff is suing the defendant for damages he or she allegedly caused, proof of negligence is necessary. That said, a civil case is different from a criminal case where it is necessary to prove a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil lawsuit, the personal injury victim only needs to prove that the defendant was more likely negligent than not.
How Can I Prove Negligence Led to My Injuries?
The burden of proof means establishing there was negligence. This is something very challenging for an injured victim to do. Most people do not have a solid understanding of the law, their legal rights or how to protect them.
Our personal injury lawyers in Fort Worth handle civil lawsuits every day, and we have extensive knowledge of Texas laws. If we represent you, we will seek to establish the defendant’s negligence by:
Establishing There Was a Legal Duty Owed
For someone to be negligent, you must be able prove the defendant owed you a legal duty. In more simple terms, they had a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent causing you any harm.
Some examples of when legal duty exists includes:
- Shopkeepers duty to keep the property free from hazards that could injure his or her guests
- Doctors and other healthcare professionals owe their patients a duty of care
- Landlords have certain legal responsibilities they owe the tenants in their properties
- Drivers owe a legal duty to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others sharing the road
- Pedestrians owe a legal duty to drivers (such as not to dart in the road suddenly)
Proving the Victim’s Legal Duty Was Breached
There are many ways someone could fail in their legal duty. Take for instance a shopkeeper. Say a bucket of water got spilled on the floor but after several hours it had still not been cleaned up. Then a shopper unknowingly slipped on it and suffered a serious injury.
To prove negligence in this scenario, your attorney would need to investigate the situation and prove that the owner knew or should have known about the spill. Additionally, your attorney would need to show that despite knowing about the spill, nothing was done to clean it up or warn guests that it was there.
It is important to mention that if there is no negligence, then there is no case.
Prove How the Breached Duty Caused the Accident and Your Injuries
In short, the attorney must be able to prove that but for the breach of duty, the incident would not have happened, and you would not have been injured.
Real Damages Resulted From the Negligence
It is not enough that the breach of duty occurred. Your attorney must also be able to show how that negligence caused real damages, such as:
- Emergency transportation, such as an ambulance, from the accident scene
- Cost of the emergency room examination and treatment
- Diagnostic testing
- Physical therapy
- Surgery you may need immediately or in the future (related to the accident)
- Prescription drugs to help you with pain management
- Property damages sustained in the accident
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove My Case?
To prove your case in an injury claim, you or your attorney will need to present believable evidence. This could include things like:
- A traffic ticket that establishes the at-fault party was speeding, drunk, ran a red light, etc.
- Photos of a spill with no warning sign for guests to avoid the area
- Video footage of a pedestrian running into a busy street without looking
- Testimony from a doctor with similar training and background
- Statements from a credible witness to your accident
Injured By Another’s Negligence? Call Our Law Firm Today
Anderson Cummings has been helping injured victims recover compensation for damages for decades. We have extensive knowledge of Texas laws and are prepared to fight for the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.
When you choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs or fees to deal with, which means no risk to you.
Over $100 million recovered. (817) 920-9000