Law Offices of Stipe & Belote Articles Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Case

Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Case

By Law Offices of Stipe & Belote  Feb. 22, 2011 3:30p

As a plaintiff in a personal injury case, you (or your attorney) will need to prove the fault of the defendant, the person or entity you believe is responsible for your injuries. This will be crucial if you are to win your case and recover full financial compensation.

The person or representative of the person who has been injured and is suing for damages is the plaintiff in a personal injury claim. The person the case is brought against is the defendant. In these cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was responsible for quantifiable injuries that the plaintiff sustained as a result of the defendant's act or failure to act. Fault may be proved based upon one of three specific grounds:

Negligence - a failure to act with reasonable care or caution in the circumstances.

Intentional wrongdoing - an intentional act, carried out with the intent to cause injury or with the knowledge that it may cause injury.

Strict liability - legal responsibility for another's injuries regardless of specific intent or negligence.

To prove that the defendant should be held accountable, the plaintiff will need to prove, based upon a preponderance (majority) of evidence, that:

  • The defendant owed some duty of care to the plaintiff, to act in a certain way
  • The defendant breached that duty through an act or failure to act
  • This breach of duty caused an accident or injury that involved the plaintiff
  • The plaintiff was injured as a result

It will also be necessary to prove "quantifiable" injury - that is, the plaintiff will need to prove that financial compensation is necessary for medical bills, future medical care, lost earnings, emotional trauma, pain and suffering or other repercussions of the injury that was caused by the defendant's actions.

Contact an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Stipe & Belote today to talk about your case and proving the fault of the person or company responsible for your injuries.

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