How Does a Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Negligence?

Negligence is causing so much pain and financial loss to Norfolk residents. Learn how Norfolk personal injury lawyers prove negligence, the types, and more.

Negligence is a significant issue in America. Careless actions are significant causes of personal injury accidents, even in Norfolk, Virginia. Unfortunately, these accidents often result in several permanent injuries requiring medical care. Fortunately, though, the law of negligence allows injury victims to recover fair compensation for their losses. 

The law on damages is pretty straightforward. Insurance companies would also pay damages following a successful civil action. However, you still have to prove the fault party’s negligence to recover compensation. That’s why you need the best Norfolk personal injury lawyers. It would help if you had attorneys that could win your case even without an admission of liability from the fault party.

What Is Negligence?

Indeed, understanding how Norfolk’s personal injury lawyers prove negligence is crucial. This is because an injury victim must prove all aspects of an accident claim to get financial compensation for an action in respect of negligence. However, it’s vital first to know what negligence is. So, generally, negligence is a person’s failure to meet a certain standard of care in their actions. 

Here, the law imposes a duty of care on individuals. Therefore, persons must exercise reasonable care to ensure that they don’t hurt others. It’s, however, unfortunate that Norfolk residents still engage in negligent actions. Furthermore, disregarding reasonable care could be through gross or mere negligence. Both classes also have varying consequences.

Such negligence often causes several physical injuries, including:

Defective product wounds
Brain injury
Birth injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Neck injuries

The law now ensures that the person responsible for the injury provides financial compensation to the injured person. Here, the plaintiff argues that the defendant’s breach of duty of care owed them caused their losses. So, suppose the plaintiff’s personal injury attorney establishes this claim. Then, the court would award damages against the fault party. 

What Are the Types of Negligence?

Virginia’s law of negligence recognizes three types of negligence. They include:

Simple negligence
Gross negligence
Willful and wanton negligence
Simple Negligence

Some personal injury claims are pretty straightforward. That’s because the injury victim only has to prove ordinary negligence for an award for damages. Simple negligence means that the fault party didn’t act like a reasonable person. The standard of a reasonable person is merely the court enquiring what an average person would do in similar circumstances. Consequently, this type of negligence excludes intentional actions.

Gross Negligence

There could also be legal action for damages resulting from gross negligence. Here, the fault party was indifferent to and disregarded the consequences of their careless actions. Furthermore, these careless actions would shock the minds of the average person. They’re also actions ordinarily not expected from a reasonable person. Notably, only a legal action for damages resulting from gross negligence can make some government entities liable.

Willful and Wanton Negligence

Willful and wanton negligence is the intentional or reckless disregard of the rights of an injured person. In this case, the defendant knew that their actions would probably cause the injury victim some bodily injury. Virginia’s law of negligence complicates this stage because you must prove the fault party acted intentionally. Fortunately, though, if you succeed, your award for damages can include punitive damages.

How Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers Prove Negligence

Personal injury damages are only possible if you can establish some facts. Generally, it’s unlikely that an injured person would be aware of these elements of negligence. Therefore, a personal injury lawyer is your best shot at the maximum compensation. Below is how an experienced attorney will prove a negligence claim.

Duty of Care

Firstly, your legal action must commence by showing that the defendant owes you a duty of care. This isn’t a challenging step because everyone must avoid careless actions that could hurt anyone. Notably, there’s the general standard of a reasonable person. But, in addition, the law of negligence imposes a higher standard of care on some groups. 

Breach of Duty

Next, you must prove that the defendant breached this legal duty of care. This means that the fault party didn’t exercise reasonable care in their conduct. Suppose it’s a medical negligence claim. Here, the medical malpractice lawyer must prove medical negligence by showing that the doctors did what other medical professionals in similar circumstances wouldn’t do. 

Causation 

Finally, you can only file a personal injury lawsuit for bodily injury or property damage. We mean that negligence must cause some damage for it to lead to an award of damages. Notably, whether minor or catastrophic injuries, you can still get monetary compensation.

Damages Recoverable in a Norfolk Negligence Compensation Claim

An award of damages is usually the result of successfully proving negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. There are also several damages recoverable in action for damages resulting from negligence. Notably, personal injury damages are generally divided into monetary damages and non-economic damages. Usually, too it’s insurance companies that pay these damages. 

We explain them below.  

Special Damages: Special or actual damages refer to the plaintiff’s actual financial losses because of the injury. For example, these would include the cost of medical care, lost wages, transportation, cost of lost or damaged property, etc.
General Damages: General damages are usually noneconomic damages. Courts often cannot easily assign them a dollar amount. So, for example, general damages include monetary compensation for pain and suffering. In addition, auto accident victims, for example, can get compensatory damages for diminished quality of life.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are another type of damages recoverable in an injury lawsuit. Punitive damages aren’t compensatory damages. Instead, the court makes this award for damages to punish the defendant. Furthermore, courts aim that punitive damages would deter the defendant from such conduct in the future.
Wrongful Death Benefits: Sometimes, personal injuries, such as a bodily injury, can lead to death. In such cases, the deceased’s personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is only possible where the decedent had the right to institute legal action when they were alive. A successful wrongful death lawsuit can also grant an award of damages for general and special losses.

How Long Do You Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Norfolk? 

Virginia’s personal injury law has strict time frames within which injury victims must claim financial compensation. Therefore, you cannot file a Norfolk personal injury lawsuit whenever you like. Instead, the law mandates that plaintiffs must file all personal injury lawsuits within two years. This is the same deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This time starts counting from the injury date. 

If you miss this deadline, the court would most likely bar your claim. Notably, the law of negligence only extends this statutory period in limited circumstances. For example, victims of medical malpractice can get longer statutory periods in some cases.

You must also file legal action for property damage within five years from the date of damage. Finally, Norfolk, Virginia, applies the contributory negligence rule. Under this doctrine, you cannot recover financial compensation if you were slightly responsible for your injuries.

Let Norfolk’s Best Personal Injury Law Firm Handle Your Negligence Case

Have you suffered a bodily injury from an automobile accident, product liability, or medical malpractice? Or did you lose your personal property? Whichever of these instances apply to you; you can recover financial compensation for your losses. First, however, you must prove how the other party’s negligence caused your losses.

Therefore, you need the best Norfolk personal injury attorneys. Our attorneys have won millions of dollars for our injury clients. So, we have sufficient skill and experience to prove any negligence claim. It’ll thus be best to call us today for a consultation.

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