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How is negligence proven in a personal injury case?

When an Olympia resident suffers injuries caused by someone else's actions, many people are quick to say that one person or the other is at fault. However, the word fault has a different legal meaning than it does an ordinary meaning. While someone may have been at fault, proving that in a personal injury case in a court of law needs more than a simple statement allocating fault. It needs a showing of proof that one person acted negligently.

Negligence is a legal construct that revolves around a failure to behave with the standard of care that an ordinary person would have done in similar circumstances. When determining if someone's actions are lacking reasonable care, typically factors such as the likelihood that the actions or omissions will result in harm, the possible severity of the harm and the burden of taking steps to reduce or eliminate the harm.

Four elements must be proven to show negligence. The first is that there must be a legal duty between the victim and the defendant and the defendant should have breached that duty. Secondly, the plaintiff should have suffered an injury and the injury should have been caused by the defendant's actions or omissions. While many may think that legal duties arise only through contract, this is not the case. Legal duties arise everywhere-motorists have a legal duty to follow traffic safety rules and shop owners have one to ensure their stores are free of reasonable risks to customers.

This might sound overwhelming for accident victims, especially given the trauma they are likely suffering from their injuries. However, proving negligence gets them one step closer to receiving justice and compensation for their injuries. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on how to proceed in holding a negligent party accountable.

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