If your case were to go to trial, you would need to present proof of the defendant’s negligence. In the absence of such proof, a jury would have no reason for granting you any sort of monetary award.
Elements of negligence
Show that the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff. A driver on the road should care about the safety of all other drivers, as well as those that are proceeding on-foot or on a bicycle. Proof of the duty of care is the first of 4 essential elements.
Show that the defendant breached his or her established duty of care. That breach could take one of 2 different forms. I could consist of the performance of a careless or harmful action. Alternatively, it could take the form of the failure to carry out a needed action.
Show that the breach that was exercised by the defendant had managed to cause the plaintiff to suffer an injury. This might be hard to prove, if the plaintiff has been careless and neglectful. For instance, the occupants of a car might fail to use their seat belt, and thus increase the severity of any injury that a given occupant might sustain, at the time of an accident.
Show that the plaintiff suffered a significant amount of damage. In order to come forward with that proof, the victim of a car crash would need to address both of the types of losses that are associated with car accidents.
The 2 losses associated with car accidents
Tangible losses: Those that have resulted from economic damages. That would be the ones that would have an obvious monetary value. The court does not place any limit on the number of economic damages that might be claimed by any given plaintiff.
Intangible losses: Those that have resulted from a non-economic cause, such as trouble sleeping, or development of a phobia. There is no way to place a monetary value on that type of loss. Some courts have placed a limit on the number of intangible losses that a given plaintiff has the right to claim.
Personal injury lawyers in Ottawa object to the introduction of such limits. The lawyers’ experiences have taught them the potential value of a catastrophic injury, if a court has not placed a limit on the number of intangible losses for any one plaintiff. Those limits, where they have been introduced and enforced, manage to make it harder for any accident victim to feign an injury. The courts feel compelled to limit charges with poorly supported claims. Yet personal injury lawyers feel compelled to defend the rights of accident victims that have sustained a catastrophic injury, following involvement in a car accident.