personal injury

How To Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

Proving negligence is crucial in getting compensation for damages and injuries. Learn how negligence is proven in a personal injury claim.

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Proving negligence in a personal injury claim requires elements such as:

  • Strong evidence

  • Proving duty of care

  • Breach of duty of care

  • Causation

  • Proving damages

  • An experienced personal injury lawyer

If you have a personal injury case and want to ensure that negligence is proven.

Contact a personal injury attorney from our Las Vegas law firm to work with an attorney who has filed and won hundreds of personal injury claims.

What is Negligence?

Negligence in personal injury law refers to a person's failure to exercise reasonable care in a situation that results in harm or injury to another person.

Determining Negligence In Personal Injury Cases

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When fighting to prove negligence in a personal injury case, investigation and assessment of the case will need to be taken to succeed in the following steps.

Duty of Care

The first step in proving negligence is proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. For example, a driver's duty of care to others is to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicle safely.

Duty of care is usually straightforward and determined based on the parties' relationship.

Breach of Duty

In a personal injury lawsuit, once the plaintiff establishes that the defendant owed them a duty of care, they must prove that the defendant breached that legal duty.

This breach of duty of care could be that the defendant failed to follow traffic laws, expressed gross negligence, or the defendant's actions are dangerous.


A crucial element when seeking to prove negligence is showing that the defendant's negligence caused damages or physical injury to the plaintiff. Causation is a complex process that involves professional medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and expert opinions.

A reasonable person should consult with a personal injury lawyer to contact the defendant's actions to their injuries.


To succeed in a negligence claim, the plaintiff must connect damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress, or pain and suffering, to the defendant's negligent behavior.

Nevada Shared Negligence Law

If you suffered a personal injury such as a car accident in Nevada, you must understand Nevada's comparative negligence rule.

This rule states that multiple parties can be considered the responsible parties and hold fault in an accident even if they suffered damages or injuries.

Below, we explain the legal theory behind Nevada's comparative negligence rule.

Modified Comparative Negligence Explained

Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence rule that allows an injured party to recover compensation even if they share responsibility for the accident.

However, the amount of fault they are found to be at will affect their final compensation amount.

For example, if their personal injury claim settles at $100,000 but is found to be 20% at fault, their final settlement will be reduced to $80,000.

Statutory Threshold

Although Nevada allows someone to be legally responsible for an accident and still receive compensation, there is a limit.

This limit is if a responsible party is found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, where, in that case, they will be barred from recovering any damages.

What Is The Most Difficult Element of Negligence to Prove?

Various elements of negligence must be proven to win in a negligence claim; however, one of the most challenging is causation.

Why Is Causation the Most Difficult Element To Prove

  • Presenting of Evidence - Proving causation requires presenting in-depth evidence, such as medical expenses and records, expert testimony, and other evidence to prove physical injuries. The insurance company and the defendant will scrutinize this evidence, making it vital that the evidence is strong enough to withstand any counterattacks.

  • Pre-existing Conditions - In a negligence lawsuit where the accident victim has pre-existing medical conditions or injuries, proving causation will become more challenging. This is because the defendant will argue that the plaintiff's injury was not a result of their negligence but was a pre-existing injury. Countering these claims will require an experienced personal injury lawyer.

  • Discovery of Injuries Sustained - In accidents such as car accidents, injuries may not present themselves until later. This delay can cause problems when hoping to link the plaintiff's injuries with the defendant's negligence.

Causation may be difficult to prove due to the given challenges, but with the backing of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can expect a smooth and successful process.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Determine Negligence

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When navigating the complexities of proving negligence, having a personal injury attorney is crucial in doing so successfully.

Having a personal injury lawyer can help you determine negligence by doing the following:

  • Legal Knowledge - Personal injury attorneys possess advanced knowledge of negligence law and have experience in handling cases similar to yours.

  • Investigation - Personal injury lawyers will work to gather evidence and conduct their investigation around your injury claim. This investigation may involve collecting witness statements, analyzing accident reports, and working with accident reconstruction specialists.

  • Duty and Breach of Care - An attorney will determine whether the defendant owed you a duty of care and, if so, if the defendant breached that duty.

  • Negotiation - A personal injury attorney will handle all negotiations with insurance companies and the defendant's side to ensure your rights are protected and maximum compensation is pursued.

  • Litigation - If the case fails to settle through negotiations, your lawyer can take your case to court and present it in front of a judge and/or jury.

Enlisting the support of a personal injury attorney will undoubtedly increase your case's success percentage and final compensation amount.

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