In order to succeed in your personal injury claim, you must be able to prove to the court that the person who caused your injuries was negligent. Specifically, you must prove the elements of negligence which are established on the basis of evidence. The elements of negligence are as follows:
Duty of care: A reasonable person is held to a legally recognized duty of care. Such a person must take reasonable steps to prevent harm to another by their actions or inactions.
Breach of duty: The duty of care is breached when the person responsible for the harm has failed to meet the standard of care. The failure is fact specific. Examples are failing to apply salt to ice which causes a slip and fall, failure to install proper lighting or handrail causing a trip and fall, speeding causing a motor vehicle accident, failure to warn of a danger or otherwise failing to keep the injured person or any other conduct or omission that caused the injury.
Causation: Causation is likely the most difficult element to prove. An injured person must prove that the acts or omissions of the person responsible for their injuries was the direct or “proximate” cause of their injuries. Courts often use the “but for” test to make this analysis which means: the injuries would not have been caused “but for” the act or omission of the person who caused them.
Damages: An injured person must prove that as a result of the breach of the duty, they suffered harm and suffered damages, expenses and losses. For example, in special damages like loss of income, this is done by providing documents proving lost wages, business income etc…