Most civil lawsuits, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, are based on negligence laws, and those laws are left up to states to decide. In general, to hold a person responsible for negligence that caused injury or death, a number of things have to be proven.
First, you have to prove that the person whose negligence injured you owed you a duty of care. For example, a driver has a duty not to drive recklessly and thereby put your safety at risk. If you are injured by a reckless driver, then that driver breached his or her duty of care.
Next, it is necessary to prove that you would not have been injured if it weren’t for the reckless driver’s negligence.
Then you have to prove that the reckless driver should have foreseen that the reckless driving might lead to injuries.
Finally, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove that the defendant’s actions resulted in harm to the plaintiff.
These may seem like straightforward proofs, but a strong case is always built on evidence. Without the proper evidence, there is the risk that you will not receive the full amount you deserve.
In Ohio, the concept of contributory negligence is used to determine liability in personal injury cases. Contributory negligence means that the injured person’s degree of fault will be considered when deciding the amount in damages the injured person can recover. If you as a plaintiff were not at all at fault for your injury, then you are entitled to the full measure of compensation.
Defendants’ attorneys in these cases use significant resources to shift blame onto the plaintiff, and anyone seeking to hold a negligent party accountable for injuries should speak with a lawyer about building the strongest possible injury claim.