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What do I need to prove to recover damages in an injury case?

required proof to recover personal injury damagesIf you suffered a serious injury, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills and financial losses. While Florida law allows you to recover these costs from at-fault parties, you will have the burden of proving that the person who caused the injury—the defendant—was legally negligent.

Proving Negligence Is Key to Recovering Damages for an Injury

Injury cases such as slip-and-falls, car accidents, and medical malpractice are all based on the legal doctrine of negligence. Simply put, negligence is failure to ensure the proper degree of care necessary to prevent harm to another person. While there are many kinds of evidence that can be used to prove negligence, there are also specific tenets of negligence law that must be proved in order to recover damages.

Before you can be awarded damages for injuries, your attorney must prove:

  • You were owed a duty of care. This means the defendant had a legal obligation to provide for your safety, also known as a duty of care. There are some cases when the defendant’s duty of care may be minimal, such as if you were trespassing at the time your slip and fall occurred.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care. If you were owed a duty of care, there must be evidence the defendant was in violation of that duty. This may include different types of negligence, such as failing to fix a hazardous condition, acting carelessly or recklessly, or neglecting to warn you and others of the potential danger.
  • The defendant’s breach caused damages. The attorney has to establish a clear link between the breached duty of care and your injuries. If the defendant's legal team can prove your medical condition resulted from something else, the defendant may not have to pay for your injuries—even if the judge agrees this individual or entity was otherwise negligent.
  • The degree of your own negligence. In Florida, your own negligence for an injury doesn't prevent you from seeking damages. However, if you are partially to blame for an accident, the amount of your recovery is reduced by your percentage of fault. Legal counsel for the defense will try to make your percentage of fault as high as possible to reduce the amount of money owed to you, but our attorneys gather evidence to refute these claims.

If you suffered an injury, our personal injury attorney can outline your options and work to secure the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.