How Do Courts Determine Negligence?

During a court trial, the judge urges the jury to study the actions of all those involved in a given accident, and to ask, “Who was least reasonable?” and “Who was most careless?” Behavior that demonstrates carelessness calls attention to an exhibition of negligence.

Types of evidence that offer proof of negligence

Direct: Statements from witnesses, photographs and video footage are all examples of direct evidence.

Circumstantial: This is the sort of evidence that might encourage the jurists to draw an inference. This needs to be easy to understand. Otherwise, the members of the jury might simply discount it, instead of forming the desired inference.

Sometimes a plaintiff in a personal injury case manages to win, even though he or she might have no proof of negligence.

Usually that win was achieved through the lawyer’s utilization of something call res ipsa loquitur. Personal Injury Lawyer in Sarnia understand the meaning of that phrase: The thing speaks for itself. If a lawyer and plaintiff could prove that the injury-causing event seldom happens in the absence of negligence, then that team would have a chance at winning their case. Still, that lawyer-plaintiff team would also need to prove a second element of the res ipsa loquitur principle.

What is that additional element? It is proof of the fact that the defendant had control of the instrument that caused the injury.

The sort of thing that could happen, but rarely does, at a traffic light could offer insight into an instance of negligence that needs no real proof. Suppose that some pedestrian were to step into the street, after seeing the “walk” sign. Then suppose a driver tried to pass the red light and hit the same pedestrian. That is the sort of event that could only take place due to a driver’s negligence. Obviously, the driver would have had control of the instrument that caused any injury to the pedestrian.

Even if there had been no police or no camera at that particular intersection, other drivers might appreciate the danger that the driver in the car that sped through the light could pose to others. So, it is possible that one or more of them might offer their name and contact information, as potential witnesses.

That might happen, even if the driver had not caused any physical injury to the pedestrian. He or she was probably quite shaken. In other words, he or she had suffered a needlessly frightening and upsetting experience. She had good reason to report her experience, in case the same driver was to do harm to someone else.

In other words, if motorists appreciated the value of res ipsa loquitur, then their response to a relevant situation could work to limit negligence.