In simple terms, negligence is when an individual or business fails to conduct itself as another person or business would under the same circumstances to protect a person from harm.
Negligence has four basic elements that a North Carolina personal injury attorney must prove during a case:
- Duty of care: the at-fault party had a duty of care to protect other people that they ignored or failed to complete accurately.
- Breach of the duty of care: the at-fault individual or business breached their duty of care by failing to act as another reasonable person would under the same circumstances.
- Cause: the breached duty of care directly caused the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: the victim sustained verifiable injuries due to the breached duty of care.
To succeed in winning a personal injury case, the victim and his or her legal team must prove negligence. The burden of proof rests solely on the plaintiff’s shoulders and the defendant doesn’t technically have to prove anything to avoid paying out a settlement to a victim, so long as the victim fails to prove his or her case.
That’s why it’s crucial that you hire a North Carolina personal injury immediately following your injury. This way, your attorney can stay up-to-date on developments in your case and be there for you throughout. Here’s a look at how your attorney and the insurance adjuster use negligence in a personal injury case.
How insurance adjusters use negligence in North Carolina
An insurance adjuster is an individual who works for the insurance company and investigates claims. Basically, an insurance adjuster works to collect evidence in a case to legitimize the claims you’re making.
Part of the job an insurance adjuster does is help the insurance company determine how large your settlement should be if they award you a settlement at all. However, the end goal is always the same: pay out as little as possible.
The insurance adjuster working on your case might work to prove that you were the negligent party in the claim. For example, in a car accident, the insurance adjuster might work to prove you were at fault for the accident. In a slip and fall accident, the adjuster might prove that there were adequate signs that you failed to heed.
When they can, an insurance adjuster will work to prove that the insurance company is not liable for the damages of your accident. If they can prove this entirely, it means you get no settlement.
How attorneys use negligence in North Carolina
Just like an insurance adjuster works to use negligence to prove their innocence in the matter, your attorney uses negligence to prove that the defendant is at-fault for your injuries.
Your North Carolina personal injury attorney will build a case proving that you were injured through no fault of your own and that the at-fault party could have prevented the accident if they had acted as any other reasonable person or business would have under the same circumstances.
Part of the process of proving negligence is proving the damages you sustained from the accident. This includes the following documentation:
- Medical bills from your office visits
- Verification for any missed work and lost wages
- Property damage estimates
- Mental health reports showing mental trauma
- Witnesses who testify about changes they’ve seen in you
- Evidence of mental anguish or emotional distress
An attorney is an expert at proving negligence, meaning they can generally secure higher settlements than you could on your own, even if you present similar evidence. Plus, because personal injury attorneys are experienced in negotiating settlements, they know what a fair settlement is based on your injuries.
Robert Louis Armstrong is an experienced personal injury attorney in North Carolina who will work hard to prove the defendant’s negligence in your case. Contact us for a free case evaluation.