What Evidence is Gathered to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury

In most personal injury cases the plaintiff (injured party) is required to establish that another party’s negligence caused their injuries. For example, a business owner may have acted negligently by failing to place a “wet floor” sign on a wet floor. To establish negligence, a personal injury lawyer must prove four elements. In order to prove each element they must gather all evidence available, interview eye witnesses and retain expert witnesses who can reconstruct the accident scene and show that the injury was caused by the accident.

If you or a loved one was injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can to discuss your legal rights.

What are the 4 elements of a negligence claim?

To win a negligence case the plaintiff must prove each of the following four elements to show that the defendant acted negligently:

  1. Duty of care was owed to the plaintiff. For example, a business owner owes a duty of care to their customers to prevent a slip and fall accident in their store.
  2. Duty of care was breached. The defendant breached their legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way. The attorney will prove that a reasonable person, care provider or organization would not have behaved the same way under similar circumstance. For example, the business owner mopped the floor and failed to put a “wet floor” sign in front of the area.
  3. Connection between the negligent behavior and the injury. The defendant’s behavior (action or lack of action) caused the plaintiff’s injury. For example, the customer slipped and fell because they had no way to know that the floor was wet.
  4. Damages. The plaintiff was harmed or injured because of the defendant’s negligence. For example, the person broke their hip as a result of slipping on the business’ wet floor.

What evidence is gathered to prove negligence in a personal injury claim?

Your personal injury lawyer will gather specific evidence depending on the type of accident that caused your injuries, including:

  • Incident report
  • Police report
  • Photographs from the scene of the accident
  • Eyewitness statements
  • All medical records from assessing and treating the injury
  • Documents showing time missed at work and payroll records showing typical income
  • Expert testimony

While injured parties generally have three years from the date of the accident to bring a personal injury claim in Washington State, it is in the plaintiff’s best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The reason is because evidence plays such an important role in proving negligence and over time it becomes much more difficult to gather evidence and interview witnesses.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice and other types of negligence. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable accidents and medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections, diagnostic errors, prescription drug injuries and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.