About 26% of all non-fatal workplace injuries are due to slips and falls. Even though these accidents don’t result in death, that doesn’t make them any less devastating. Depending on how an employee lands, it could cause them to be out of work for weeks.
If the injured employee can prove that their accident occurred due to negligence, they can make a personal injury claim. This will give them the compensation they need to cover their bills while they’re out of work.
The problem is that proving fault isn’t exactly easy. Unless you have evidence and eyewitnesses, you may be out of luck. Continue reading to learn more.
Duty of Care
The first step of the personal injury claim process is proving that the guilty party owes you a duty of care.
For example, let’s say that you go in for surgery. When you wake up from the anesthesia, you find that you’re in worse shape than you were before the operation. If your personal injury claim lawyer can prove that a doctor-patient relationship has been established, you’ll most likely get a payout.
If you’re at work, and you slip and fall in a room that you must have access to in order to do your job, that shows a lack of duty of care. In this scenario, you would also get a payout.
Breach of Duty
Once it’s been determined that the defendant owed you a duty of care, it’s time to prove that they failed to follow through. In the case of medical malpractice, this would include things such as birth defects or an incorrect diagnosis.
In some states, when a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they enter a duty of care contract with other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In these states, if a drunk driver collides with you because they missed their turn, that would break that contract.
Cause in Fact
Cause in fact is the process of proving that a person’s injuries were a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty. For example, if you slip a disk after falling at work, you would have to prove that the pain you’re in isn’t coming from a prior back condition.
In this situation, the only way you would see any personal injury claim payouts would be if you went to a doctor right after your fall. A physician can provide written proof that the accident caused the slipped disk.
Not only that, but if you hold off on seeing a doctor, the judge may rule that your injuries aren’t as bad as you say they are.
Just because you can prove that your boss’s negligence resulted in your slip and fall accident doesn’t mean your claim will stick. The defendant will have the chance to dispute the charges.
Your boss may claim that they put a wet floor sign down, but you overlooked it. If your employer has proof to back them up, you’re now the one at fault for your accident.
The proximate cause is the final outcome of the case. During this part of the process, the judge will determine who was liable for your damages. Liability isn’t as straightforward as you may think.
If a doctor makes a conscious effort to bring you harm while you’re under the knife, that’s one thing. If they misdiagnose you with the flu, and it doesn’t result in direct harm, that’s another. They don’t owe you anything because they didn’t damage you.
The last thing you need to do is prove that some kind of damage stemmed from your accident. This can be financial distress from medical bills or emotional trauma.
If the judge rules in your favor, you’ll get the compensation you need to cover these damages.
There are a few things that you can do to plead your case in the instances discussed above. The first is to gather evidence.
Let’s go back to the slip-and-fall example. Your boss told the judge that they put a wet floor sign down. If you have pictures proving they didn’t, that would give you a leg up in the case.
If your case is more complex than a slip-and-fall incident, you may need a witness to explain to the judge what the defendant’s duty of care involved.
Botched surgeries are difficult to prove if you don’t have a few expert witnesses on your side. A distinguished doctor can tell the jury what the defendant did wrong and explain what they should have done instead.
While you can handle your personal injury case alone, it’s not wise. To ensure that you get the settlement you deserve, you’ll need to search for a law firm.
After researching your situation for a bit, your attorney will calculate how much money you’re entitled to and won’t rest until you get it.
They can help you gather evidence and fill out any paperwork requested of you. They’ll represent you in court so you can relax and focus on recovering from your injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured on the job, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to get compensation. Proving negligence can be a bit tricky, however.
If you don’t lawyer up or you fail to gather the right evidence, there’s a chance that you’ll lose your case. Get on the phone with an experienced attorney today to begin the personal injury claim process.
For more tips that will help you navigate your way around a courtroom, visit the Society section of our blog.