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How You Define Negligent in a Personal Injury Case

define negligent

When you are injured in an accident and file a personal injury claim, negligence will play a crucial role in your case. As the plaintiff (victim), you must prove that another party acted negligently, causing your injuries. Only once you have established another party’s negligence will you be able to win your case. But what does negligence mean exactly? How do you define negligent regarding personal injury claims?

Let’s dive in to find out.

If you have further questions after reading the article, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Kentucky personal injury lawyers for help with your case.

How Do You Define Negligent?

The term “negligent” is used in legal situations when referring to fault. More specifically, negligence is tied to something known as “duty of care.”

When you file a personal injury claim or a negligence lawsuit, you and your attorney will have to prove that another party breached their duty of care, thus acting negligently, which means they owe you compensation.

In simpler terms, negligence refers to the harm that someone caused you. If you can prove that someone harmed you by breaching their duty of care, you have grounds to file a claim against them.

The Four Elements of a Negligence Lawsuit

When attempting to prove negligence, you must be able to show the following four things:

  1. Duty of Care: You must show that the defendant (at-fault party) owed you (the plaintiff) a duty of care.
  2. Breach of Duty: Next, you must show that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently.
  3. Causation: Here, you must show that the defendant’s negligence was the direct cause of the accident that resulted in your injuries.
  4. Damages: Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages due to the injury.

Negligence Laws in Kentucky

Each state has its version of negligence or fault laws that can affect how or when you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Kentucky is a Pure Comparative Negligence state. In states with these kinds of negligence laws, the plaintiff can only file a lawsuit and recover compensation for damages as long as they are not 100% at fault.

Let’s say you are injured in an accident, but you share some blame for causing the accident. For example, if you were speeding but another driver hit you because they ran a red light, then you will likely be seen as partially responsible because you were speeding. But as long as you are not 100% to blame, you can still file a claim against the other party that hit you.

How Much is a Negligence Lawsuit Worth in Kentucky?

Negligence lawsuit settlements can vary greatly. There is no set amount awarded when you file a claim. Instead, the individual circumstances of your case will be carefully reviewed to determine how much money you are owed.

Primarily, the damages you have suffered as a result of the accident will play the most significant role in how much your negligence lawsuit is worth.

Examples of damages that you can be compensated for include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain & suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent impairment
  • Property damage
  • Scarring & disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

Your final settlement can also be affected by your percentage of fault. If you share in the liability for causing the accident, you will be assigned a percentage of fault, and that percentage will be used to reduce your settlement award.

For example, let’s say the damages you suffered amounted to $50,000, but you were 30% at fault for the accident. Instead of receiving the entire $50,000, you would only receive $35,000, as that is how much is left when you subtract 30% from the original amount.

Trust McCoy & Sparks—Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Central Kentucky

If you were injured in an accident and want to file a lawsuit for negligence, you will need to work with an attorney to ensure you are awarded the full settlement you deserve. Your lawyer can help you prove negligence, obtain necessary evidence, and negotiate with the other party to reach a fair settlement agreement.

Recognized as one of Central Kentucky’s best law firms, McCoy & Sparks represents thousands of clients in Central Kentucky. Our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs to help achieve the best possible outcome.

You owe us nothing unless we win your case. Call us at (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys today.