When damaged by the negligence of another, a cause of action typically arises, allowing the injured party to recover for any resulting damages. When a case is litigated, the court must determine the extent of fault of each party, and apply Pennsylvania state law to determine just compensation.
Proving a negligence case requires establishing the following four elements by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that, based on the evidence taken as a whole, one side has established proof of his case better than the other.
Existence of duty
A legal duty is an obligation created between parties that requires one party act or behave in a reasonable manner.
Breach of duty
Once a plaintiff establishes a duty, she must then establish a breach of this duty by the defendant’s act or failure to act.
Legal and Proximate Cause
The plaintiff must prove that an injury would not have occurred but for the actions of the defendant. Proximate cause refers to an act that triggers a reasonably foreseeable chain of events that result in injury.
Damages from injuries must result from the defendant’s act or failure to act.
As to contributory fault, Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence/51 percent rule. Pursuant to this rule, injured parties whose fault may have contributed to an accident may still recover damages as long as they were less than 51 percent at fault in the accident. Thus, an injured person who is 51 percent or more responsible for an accident is prohibited by Pennsylvania law from making any financial recovery for injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury resulting from any type of accident, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win. Our attorneys, past and present, have represented motor vehicle accident victims for 111 years. Call today!