What do victims have to prove to recover personal injury damages?

Accidents that cause personal injuries can be devastating to Pennsylvania residents and their families. Motor vehicle accidents can be especially harmful due to the power that automobiles can generate before and during collisions. When an individual suffers serious injuries and losses in a car crash, their life can be forever changed.

It is not uncommon for automobile accident victims to want to seek justice for the losses they have sustained in their collisions. They can pursue litigation against the parties that harmed them through personal injury-based lawsuits. The steps to sue for the recovery of one’s personal injury damages can be discussed with a reader’s personal injury attorney; this post will generally discuss what a victim must prove to prevail on a claim for their damages. No part of this post should be read as legal advice.

Negligence as the grounds for a vehicle accident claim

When a personal injury victim wishes to sue for their damages, they must be able to base their claim on a legal concept or theory. Often that theory is negligence. Negligence is based on the idea that individuals owe each other a duty of care, and when they breach that duty and cause others harm, they may be held liable for their victims’ losses.

The elements of a negligence claim are generally the following:

  • Duty: Individuals owe each other a duty of care. When it is not specified, it is often a duty to act reasonably given the circumstances that they are in.
  • Breach of duty: When a person fails to meet their duty or the standard of care applicable to it, then they may have breached their duty to others.
  • Causation: Even if a person breaches their duty to another person, they may not be guilty of negligence if they are not the cause of the individual’s harm.
  • Damages: To recover damages in a negligence case, a victim must usually show that they suffered losses due to the actions of the responsible party.

Taking steps to recovering personal injury damages

There are many steps that can go into recovering damages in a personal injury claim. Contacting insurers, filing claims, and seeking settlements may all be part of the process of getting a victim what they need. A victim’s personal injury attorney can support them as they work toward recovering their losses and becoming whole after their accident.