An accident that resulted in injury or property damage will leave you wondering how to prove the negligence of the person who caused the problem. Nevada personal injury attorneys help people find out the answer to this question every day. Negligence is a legal concept that allows personal injury victims to recover damages. A person or organization that failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care within the environment where the accident happened has been negligent. To prove this, your case needs to satisfy all legal elements that define negligence.
Necessary Elements for Proving Negligence
To succeed with a claim of negligence, you must provide evidence that shows:
- The opposing party owed you a duty of care.
- The opposing party committed a breach of duty.
- You would not have suffered the injury if not for the opposing party’s failings, known as cause in fact.
- The opposing party’s failure was the proximate cause of your injury.
- Damages resulted from the losses caused by the accident.
During your first consultation with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, the conversation will focus on information related to these elements. Additional inquiries and investigation may be needed to collect sufficient evidence to meet the criteria for negligence.
Examples of negligence are distracted drivers hitting another vehicle while texting or a loose dog biting a pedestrian. The driver owes a duty to others to operate a vehicle safely. An animal owner owes a duty to others to keep an animal under control so that it cannot attack others. These scenarios show breaches of duty that cause injuries that would not have happened except for the responsible parties’ failure to perform duties owed to others. Each victim also experienced damages.
Burden of Proof
Las Vegas injury law establishes that a personal injury case should be decided upon the preponderance of the evidence. This legal standard requires that you, as the injured plaintiff, must present a case with enough evidence to demonstrate the defendant’s liability. If the weight of evidence favors your claim, then negligence may be proven. The preponderance of evidence standard differs somewhat from the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt that you hear so often in television crime dramas. Beyond a reasonable doubt applies only to criminal cases. As a civil action, your accident case only needs to show a greater likelihood of guilt even if some doubt persists.
Different situations can result in various forms of negligence, which are:
- Gross negligence
- Vicarious liability
- Contributory negligence
- Comparative negligence
Gross negligence is generally recognized as an act that is wrong even to an average person. A drunk driver may be seen as grossly negligent in many cases because intoxication is widely known to be unsafe and a threat to others.
Vicarious responsibility occurs when a company or organization is liable for an employee’s actions or other agents. This concept is also essential in animal attack cases because the owner of the dog becomes responsible for damages resulting from the dog’s behavior.
Contributory negligence applies to the injured person who has brought forward a personal injury claim. In some cases, injured parties played a partial role in their accidents. Depending on the extent that a person contributed to the accident, damages may be reduced or not recoverable at all.
Nevada law operates under the concept of comparative negligence that takes into account any contributory negligence that may fall on your shoulders. Your negligence will be compared to the negligence of the opposing party, and your damages will be adjusted downward to account for the percentage of responsibility that you bear for your injuries. You may still recover some damages as long as your contributory negligence does not exceed 51 percent.
Due to the possibility of contributory negligence under Nevada law, you may need a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to evaluate your share of responsibility. This information could help you determine if you filed a claim. Nevada personal injury attorneys may also assist plaintiffs who have to defend themselves from claims that they caused their own accidents.
Damages Available to Nevada Accident Victims
As you explore your options for pursuing damages, you’ll naturally want to know what expenses qualify. Once you prove negligence in Nevada, you could receive a judgment that entitles you to receive money for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
According to Las Vegas injury law, you’ll need to document your losses within your lawsuit. Your legal representative can help you identify qualifying expenses and organize records about your expenses and anticipated future losses.
Understand Your Legal Position
The details concerning any given accident can be numerous and confusing. Even when negligence appears clear, the defendant’s lawyer may challenge your claims in unexpected ways. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney may identify vital elements and prepare a thorough lawsuit that satisfies legal standards for proving negligence. Statutes of limitations apply to many personal injury cases, making a timely consultation with an attorney important.