What Elements Are Needed To Prove Negligence?

If you are injured by another party in an accident, you may be interested in filing suit against them. Doing so allows you to recoup losses caused by their carelessness, whether they relate to medical bills or lost wages.

In order for your case to be successful, you must prove that the other party behaved negligently. This entails establishing four elements, which must be present in all personal injury cases for the lawsuit to have merit.


Duty of care refers to a person’s legal responsibility to act in a safe and reasonable manner. When operating a motor vehicle, drivers have a duty of care to avoid decisions that endanger others. When a doctor treats a patient, they have a duty of care to provide reasonable treatment that does not put the patient at risk. This duty is at the heart of all injury cases.


Once duty of care is established, the next step is to determine whether it’s been breached. This involves comparing the conduct that is alleged to have contributed to the damage to what a reasonable person would likely do. If these two considerations deviate, it’s likely the person has breached their duty of care.


In addition to being found to have breached the duty of care, the negligent party’s actions must also be established as causing the damage you’ve experienced. Unrelated mishaps don’t establish causation, even if it’s clear the person acted in a careless manner.


Damages are losses you experience as a result of the negligent behaviors. For example, if a person rear ends your vehicle while texting and you must attend physical therapy for a period of weeks or months, medical bills can be included in damages, as can money lost because you’re unable to work. Damages can also be punitive, meaning they serve as a punishment for the careless actions.

Here at Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C., we use our immense experience to help you navigate negligence claims against careless parties. Our personal injury attorneys will assess your lawsuit from every possible angle. From there, we’ll develop a solid legal strategy that gets results.

The first step is to schedule a consultation with our Albuquerque law firm. Call 505-343-1776 or contact us to learn more. We look forward to assisting you with your case.