When a Pennsylvania resident suffers a personal injury in a car accident caused by someone else, they are likely to say that the other person is at fault and should pay for their careless actions. However, simply saying someone is at fault is different from proving it, and courts require proof before allocating fault. In court, fault becomes a legal construct that must be demonstrated before someone can be held legally liable.
The injured person must demonstrate the elements of a negligence case to succeed in court. This means he or she must show that the person who was allegedly at fault owed a duty to the injured person. For example, a doctor owes a duty to give patients medical care and drivers owe other drivers the duty to drive with reasonable care on the roads. Secondly, it must be shown that the duty was breached. This is done by showing that the other party behaved in a manner that a reasonably prudent person would not have done. For example, ignoring a stop sign or running a red light.
Thirdly, it was that person’s actions that caused the person’s injury. This could also be by their inaction. For example, the person who was texting and driving must have caused the injuries caused by a fender-bender. Lastly, the court has to be able to compensate the injured party for their injuries and property damage.
These elements comprise the negligence claim, under which an injured party can claim for the personal injury sustained because of someone else. These injuries could be the result of a car or truck accident or medical malpractice.