Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Burden of Proof in Negligence Cases, a Burden in Itself

In all cases, in all situations and in varying jurisdictions, in order to collect on an injury claim, it is required that you must prove that the person who caused the injury was negligent, reckless, careless and imprudent.
That means that the plaintiff in a legal action, has the obligation to prove the allegation that it presented in an action. The burden of proof lies in his hands.
This has been the standard that most law or courts have followed in ascertaining who will be liable and for whom.
Technically, in legal parlance, this is what they termed as burden of proof or onus probandi.
Burden of proof varies depending on the particular action that has been raised.
In personal injury actions, there are component elements in the aspect of proving negligence. To be specific, the plaintiff must establish and prove the following concurring elements, namely:
  • First, the defendant must have had a duty of care towards the claimant.
  • Second, the claimant must show that the defendant has breached that duty by not exercising reasonable care.
  • Third, that an injury was caused to you by reason of the breach of duty;
  • Fourth, there was a reasonable connection between the other person's duty to you and your injury, in other words, that the negligence must be a "proximate cause" of the harm.
  • Finally, the claimant must be able to establish what kind of damages, or compensation, he should get for his or her harm.
Viewing the aforesaid elements would give you the impression that it is not easy to prove negligence, more so, a claim for compensation.
Aside from those elements, there are also other factions of law that would pester your right to claim. Specifically, the law on comparable negligence would work against your claim. It would mitigate the damages that accrue to you.
Aside from the complex process that revolved in it, proving a negligence case is very hard.
By having these stringent requirements and the taxing burden of proof, it can be gleaned that the law or procedure seems to discredit negligence cases.
Instead of providing more protection to the injured, the law or procedures have tilt on the side of the negligent actor.
It becomes the burden of the injured instead of being a haven for them.
This is quiet unfair on the side of the injured, but nothing really can be done about it except to cling to it. These set of precepts should be discounted as an old-fashioned theory.
The burden of proof in negligence cases is indeed a burden in itself.