What Do I Need to Prove in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you were injured and another party is liable, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. Yet you may be wondering what you will need to prove in order to win your case and receive damages that can compensate you for your losses. The specific elements of your claim will depend upon the nature of the case and the particular circumstances that led to your injuries. Accordingly, you should always work with an experienced Rochester personal injury attorney who can provide you with specific and detailed information about the evidence you will need to show in order to prove the necessary elements of the case. In the meantime, however, you can learn more about the general elements required in different types of personal injury lawsuits.

Elements of an Upstate New York Negligence Claim

Many personal injury lawsuits in Upstate New York are negligence claims. In other words, the injured party is seeking compensation from another party whose negligence caused injuries. As an article in the St. John’s Journal of Legal Commentary emphasizes, the four very general elements of a negligence claim are “duty, breach, causation, and damages,” which means that “plaintiffs are required to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a defendant’s breach of a duty caused injury to the plaintiff.”

What do those elements entail? The specific facts within each of those elements will depend upon the nature of your claim. For example, proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care will be different if you were both motorists and a car accident occurred, or if you were a patient and receiving medical care. Similarly, while the breach of the duty of care will require you to prove that the defendant was negligent, what constitutes negligence in your case will depend upon the facts leading to your injury. Then, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injury, and that you sustained damages.

Strict Liability Cases in Rochester

Some types of personal injury lawsuits do not revolve around a theory of negligence, but rather of strict liability. Many product liability cases are strict liability claims. What is strict liability? With strict liability, you do not need to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries, or that the defendant was negligent. Rather, as the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) explains, “strict liability exists when a defendant is liable for committing an action, regardless of what his/her intent or mental state was when committing the action.”

For example, with a product liability case, you will only need to prove that the defendant made or sold the product, and that the product caused your injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Rochester

If you need assistance filing a personal injury lawsuit, one of our experienced Rochester personal injury attorneys can help. We can tell you more about the different types of personal injury claims and required elements, and we can assess your case to provide you with more information about the evidence you will need in order to be able to win your case and obtain damages. Contact King Law today to learn more about how we can assist you.


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