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What are the Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawsuit

Were you or a loved one recently injured due to another person’s careless or negligent actions? If so, then you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. For your claim to succeed, you must prove several elements. 

The following are the four elements you must present in a personal injury lawsuit: 

  • The defendant had a duty of care – This type of duty means a legal or moral obligation to act in a safe manner or follow the laws. For instance, all drivers have a responsibility to safely operate their vehicles and all property owners have a duty to ensure their property is safe for anyone who legally enters the premises. 

  • The defendant breached that duty of care – This means the defendant failed to act in a safe or reasonable manner or broke the law. This type of behavior includes violating a traffic law (e.g. texting while driving, running a red light, failing to signal when making a turn, etc.) or failing to repair or warn others of a hazardous condition on the property. 

  • The defendant’s breach led to your injury – The third element is commonly known as “causation,” meaning the defendant’s failure to exercise safety and reasonable care resulted in your injury. In Colorado, you must prove causation through “proof by a preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, your injury was “more likely than not” caused by the defendant’s actions. 

  • You suffered damages – Lastly, you must prove the damages you suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligent actions. You may be eligible for several types of damages. Economic damages include quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost income, and property damage, while non-economic damages include non-quantifiable losses such as emotional distress, loss of consortium, and as well as pain and suffering. In addition, the court may award you punitive damages that are designed to punish the defendant for their grossly negligent behavior and deter similar actions in the future. 

Do not be surprised if the defendant attempts to dispute all the elements you are trying to prove against them, which is why you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. At Orr Law Firm, we have decades of collective experience and insight to help you maximize your entitled compensation. 

Injured in an accident in Denver? Contact us today at (303) 747-4247 and request a free consultation.