Most personal injury lawsuits involve something called negligence. The easiest way to explain negligence is that someone didn’t act the way they should have and you got hurt. All kinds of people can be sued for negligence. It’s not just limited to professionals. Your South Carolina personal injury lawyer understands this. He’s handled negligence cases involving the following types of defendants:
- Uber drivers
- Drug manufacturers
- Daycare workers
- Property owners
- Stores and businesses
Who you file suit against really depends on the type of accident you’re in.
When people hear negligence, they think they know what it means. But do you really?
Your personal injury lawyer in Greenville knows exactly what’s involved in a negligence case.
What are the Elements of Negligence?
As mentioned earlier, most personal injury cases involve negligence. In order to prove negligence, your Greenville personal injury attorney will need to show the following four (4) things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- He breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach
Let’s take a look at each of these elements in detail.
What is a duty of care?
A duty of care is the responsibility a defendant has toward the plaintiff. Car drivers have a duty to obey all traffic laws and to use common sense when they get behind the wheel. Doctors have a duty to treat their patients according to their training and experience. Daycare workers have a duty to keep your kids safe and to make sure they don’t expose the to dangerous conditions.
How does a defendant breach this duty?
A defendant breaches his duty when he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do. When a driver texts and drives, he breaches his duty of care. When a doctor doesn’t spend enough time with a patient to properly diagnose him, he breaches his duty of care. And, when a daycare workers allows children to play near a hot stove, the breach their duty of care.
You have to be injured.
You can’t sue someone just because they’ve breached their duty of care. You need to actually be injured if you expect to file a claim against the defendant or their insurance company. You may remember the stories about people who find a mouse in theri can of soup. If they didn’t eat the soup or get sick, they don’t really have a claim for injuries.
Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach.
You do need to show a link between the defendant’s behavior and your injuries. It’s not always so obvious. For example, let’s say your child is injured while at their daycare center in Greenville, South Carolina. On the way to the hospital, you get into a car accident and break your leg. Is the daycare center liable for your injuries? Probably not. It is a stretch to say that the daycare center caused your injuries.
What is Comparative Negligence and How Does it Affect My Case?
Even if the defendant is responsible for your injuries, he may not be held 100% at fault. If you’re partially responsible for your injuries, comparative negligence may apply. South Carolina is a comparative negligence state. This means that your jury award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Let’s say that you were hit by a speeding car. At the time of the accident, you were also texting and driving. A jury may find that you were 30% responsible for your accident. Had you not been texting and driving, you could have avoided the accident.
If this is the case, your judgment will be reduced by 30%. So, if you were going to receive $100,000, you will only receive $70,000.
Greenville Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
If you’ve been involved in any sort of accident, you may have a claim for personal injury. Call and speak with a Greenville personal injury attorney today. He has years of experience handling cases including medical malpractice, product liability and car accidents.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. You can ask a skilled attorney whether he thinks you have a valid case. He can also let you know what your case may be worth.
The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.