Personal Injury Claims—Proof Requirements—Part One

Demonstrating the Defendant Acted Unreasonably

irritated man

When you suffer physical injury and/or property damage in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. If you aren’t able to get adequate relief from insurers or the at-fault party voluntarily, you may need to file a lawsuit in civil court. To succeed with such a claim, you’ll have to prove that the defendant acted negligently. That requires you to show that:

  • The defendant did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances;
  • The failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • You suffered actual losses as a consequence of the accident.

Let’s look at the first element of proof—the breach of the duty of care. Under the accepted principles of personal injury law, every person in society has a duty to act reasonably in all pursuits. That applies to driving a car, designing and manufacturing products, and maintaining the premises of property, as well as other activities. To have a claim for damages after an accident, you must show that the defendant (the person you want to pay for your losses) breached the duty to act reasonably. That breach may take many different forms. Examples include speeding or running a red light, failing to test a product for safety, and improperly maintaining walkways on property.

The determination whether a defendant met the standard of care is made by the finder of fact (typically the jury) at trial. There’s no specific standard set forth in the law. Whether or not conduct was reasonable is ascertained on a case-by-case basis, based on the unique facts of each lawsuit.

Proven Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people throughout the Baltimore area and across Maryland for over three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated (the highest rating) by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s also been called a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A successful trial attorney known for getting results, he’s received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

When you hire attorney Smith to handle your claim, he’ll start by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, visiting the scene if necessary. When necessary, he’ll work with expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and financial planners, to present the most compelling arguments to help you get full and fair compensation for your losses.

Experienced Baltimore County, Maryland, Accident Recovery Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at (410) 441-5054 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.