If you have suffered an injury because of a negligent act of another person, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Obtaining fair compensation is never guaranteed, however. In many cases, the responsible party or their insurance company will refuse to accept liability for their actions.
That does not mean you are without options. You have the right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in an effort to secure the compensation you deserve. The guidance of an attorney could be invaluable to you when determining how to win a personal injury claim.
Establishing Negligence in Kamuela and Kona
The key to any personal injury claim is proving that the negligence of another person was responsible for your injuries. In general, negligence relates to a careless or reckless act that led to your injury. To prove negligence in court, you must establish four specific elements. The failure to prove even one of these elements could lead to an unsuccessful personal injury claim.
Duty of Care
The first step in these cases is to establish that a duty of care existed between the defendant and the plaintiff. If the defendant did not owe a duty to the plaintiff, they are not responsible for their injuries.
Whether or not meeting this element is difficult largely depends on the case. While the existence of a duty of care is rarely at issue in car accident cases, it can be hotly contested in slip and fall injury lawsuits.
Once you have established a duty of care exists, the next step is to show that the defendant breached the duty they owed to you. The nature of a breach depends on the type of accident in question. For car accidents, breaching the duty to drive safely could involve speeding or driving while intoxicated. Medical professionals could breach their duty to the patient by misdiagnosing an illness or making a mistake during surgery.
Another important element of negligence is causation. Causation is the link that ties a breached duty of care with the injuries you have suffered. Without this link, the defendant is not responsible for your damages. This ensures that a defendant is only held accountable for the harm they caused through their negligence.
The final element is damages. You must prove you suffered damages in order to obtain a monetary award. Damages come in many different forms, including lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.
Evidence in an Injury Case in Kona and Kamuela
It is not enough to form a cohesive theory of negligence. In order to secure a fair settlement offer or prevail in a jury trial, you must also build a strong case built on evidence. The type of evidence you need will depend largely on the facts of your case. In general, the evidence you collect should either establish the defendant was negligent or identify the amount of compensation you are entitled to recover.
The first step in these cases involves proving that the other party is liable for your injuries. That means this evidence will largely focus on the cause of the accident. For motor vehicle collisions, investigating these facts will usually start with the police report. In other types of cases, a police report might not be available.
To get to the bottom of how your accident happened, there are a few ways your attorney could approach the case. Seeking out eye witnesses is helpful, as independent witnesses carry a great deal of weight with most juries. When it comes to evidence regarding the cause of your injury, video of the incident is likely the strongest evidence available.
Proving Damages in Kona and Kamuela
It is not enough to establish that the negligence of another person resulted in an accident. You must also show that you suffered damages due to that negligence. The evidence you use to prove your damages can vary. In order to recoup the cost of your medical care, you could rely on hospital bills and other documentary evidence. To show that your pain and suffering has impacted your ability to live life to the fullest, you could have a family member testify about how you have been impacted.
Recover Compensation Through a Successful Injury Claim
There are different approaches when it comes to winning a personal injury case. You could obtain evidence from the scene of your accident, talk to witnesses, or build a theory of negligence for your case. Taking these steps on your own could increase the risk of losing out on a monetary award.
The most important of the steps you take after a serious injury is your choice of an attorney. Your legal counsel could put you in a position to successfully recover the compensation you deserve. If you are ready to get started with your case, contact Olson & Sons right away for your free consultation from personal injury lawyers in Kona and Kamuela.