Our civil justice system recognizes that victims harmed as the result of another’s conduct shouldn’t be forced to bear the burden of their losses. This is why it provides victims and their loved ones with the legal pathways to hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions and financially liable for the damages they caused. Although these pathways exists, they are not easy to navigate and they don’t guarantee that victims will receive the compensation they deserve, or any compensation at all.
By working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can place yourself in the best position possible for proving your case. When it comes to personal injury claims, your case will typically rest on a legal concept known as negligence. While every case is different, the general elements of a negligence claim are as follows:
- Duty - In order for a negligence case to have any merit, a duty between the victim and the at-fault party must have existed. A duty of care exists in a variety of ways, including the duty of property owners to ensure their premises is safe for guests and the duty of drivers to ensure their actions do not cause preventable harm to others.
- Breach of Duty – After establishing a duty of care existed, claims will then need to prove that this legal duty was breached, typically as a result of negligent, careless, or wrongful acts. Illustrating the breach of duty clearly and convincingly is crucial in personal injury cases. Breaching a duty can vary from case to case. A drunk driver, for example, breaches their duty to take reasonable measures to keep others on the road free from harm, as drinking and driving is well known to be a dangerous act.
- Causation – For a victim to have a viable claim for compensation, it must be shown the at-fault party’s breach of duty caused a victim harm, rather than another party or action, as some defendant’s may argue. This must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence – meaning that the breach of duty “more likely than not” resulted in harm.
- Damages – Lastly, victims must demonstrate that they suffered real damages for which the negligent party is financially liable to pay. These damages can include physical, financial, and emotional injuries.
By clearly establishing the elements of fault and liability, you can pursue compensation for your damages, including your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other damages. Keep in mind that insurance companies representing the at-fault party are in business to make money, and as such will often go to great lengths to defend against your claim and protect its bottom line.
At Klenofsky & Steward, LLC, our Kansas City personal injury lawyer has the experience and resources to help you craft an effective personal injury claim, engage in productive negotiations, and fight for your rights in the event that your case goes to trial. Whatever the situation may be, our goal is to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Have questions about building a claim for your accident and injuries. Contact us for a free consultation.