Four Factors of Personal Injury Liability

You may be surprised to learn that determining liability in a personal injury claim is more complicated than having an eyewitness say that someone is at fault for an accident. In fact, every personal injury case requires four things to be successful, a duty of care, a breach of duty of care, damages, and causation.

Duty of Care

Duty of care is the legal idea that someone owes somebody else a certain level of care. In some situations, duty of care obligations stem from relationships between people (teachers and students, police officers and citizens, and doctors and patients.)

In other situations, duty of care obligations arise from circumstantial scenarios (drivers to other drivers, pedestrians to other pedestrians, etc.)

However, regardless of what causes a duty of care relationship, it is a necessary part of every personal injury claim. Once an attorney establishes a duty of care, he now needs to show how one party broke his or her duty of care.

Breach of Duty of Care

In personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff (the person making the lawsuit) must prove that the defendant (the subject of the lawsuit) breached his or her duty of care to the plaintiff. There are many ways people and companies break duty of care relationships, and it’s the plaintiff’s responsibility to show that the defendant failed to act responsibly.


The plaintiff must be injured for the lawsuit to be successful. If the plaintiff didn’t suffer from the defendant’s actions, then there is nothing for the plaintiff to recover from.


Causation is the idea that a defendant’s actions caused a plaintiff to suffer an injury. Causation can be direct or indirect, but if it involves negligence and it can be shown the defendant’s actions ultimately led to the injury, he or she is held accountable.

Need Representation?

If you or a loved one suffers injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to sue. Our award-winning firm can help you seek compensation for your injuries!

Call (303) 861-2800 now for a free consultation for your case.


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