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Proving the Necessary Elements of a Negligence Claim

After recently suffering serious injuries in a Colorado car accident, you likely want to determine whether you could seek compensation for the damages that have resulted. If authorities considered another driver at fault for the injury-causing event, you may very well have reason to file a personal injury claim. Of course, your exact options will depend on the circumstances of your particular situation.

If you do have the standing to file such a claim, you undoubtedly want to work toward success. If you file your claim on the grounds that the other driver was negligent, you will need to prove multiple elements of that claim.

Proving negligence

When it comes to proving negligence after a car accident -- or any personal injury event -- you will need to provide evidence of the following four elements:

  • Duty: The person considered at fault for the accident must have had a legal duty to you. In the case of a car accident, the other driver has an expected duty of operating a vehicle safely and with a certain level of care.
  • Breach of duty: After establishing duty, you must prove that the other driver breached that duty by acting in a way that a reasonably prudent person would not or failing to act in a way that a reasonably prudent person would have in a similar scenario. For instance, if the driver failed to stop at a red traffic light, he or she failed to act like an average person would have in that situation.
  • Causation: You will also need to show that the person's negligence directly caused the injuries you suffered.
  • Damages: The last element needed to prove negligence relates to the court's ability to compensate you for the injuries and other damages suffered, such as those for your medical expenses or vehicle repair.

Proving these elements may seem complicated, but if you have a valid claim, you likely also have evidence on your side.

Setting up for success

Gathering information about the accident, your injuries and medical treatment, police reports, witness statements and other similar records could act as evidence in your personal injury case. Obtaining this information as well as learning about your legal options may help you set yourself up for working toward a successful outcome. You may also want to work with a knowledgeable attorney who could assist you in proving the necessary elements of your claim.

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