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New Haven, Connecticut | Weber & Rubano Law Firm

How to Prove Negligence in a New Haven Personal Injury Case 

December 15, 2023Articles

Injuries occur every day in New Haven and throughout Connecticut, but when an injury is preventable and only occurs because of someone else’s careless or reckless actions, the injury victim shouldn’t be left responsible for the undue expenses. Even a relatively mild injury can cause significant financial hardship with a single missed paycheck on top of unexpected medical expenses. A more serious injury can be devastating, especially when it leaves the victim with a partial or total disability. These consequences of an injury are called “damages” in a personal injury case. A successful personal injury claim in New Haven helps injury victims recover their damages as well as a sense of justice.

Before an injury victim can gain compensation for their losses, injury law in Connecticut requires the injury victim to prove the at-fault party committed negligence and that the injury only occurred due to that negligence. The law bases the legal elements of negligence on the idea that we all owe a general duty of care to avoid causing injury to others.

Negligence and Foreseeable Risk in New Haven Personal Injury Claims

Before there’s a clear case for a personal injury claim, the injury victim must prove through a preponderance of the evidence that another person or business entity caused the injury through their negligent actions. Proving negligence requires demonstrating the following:


  • The at-fault party could reasonably foresee that their actions could cause harm
  • Despite knowing their actions could cause injury, they acted carelessly or recklessly anyway
  • Their negligence was the direct, primary cause of the injury

An example of negligence with foreseeable risk occurs when a driver chooses to send a text message or check a social media notification while driving. The driver knows that taking their eyes off the road even for a moment is a risk, but does so anyway. If the distracted driver fails to see a stop sign and collides with a vehicle that had the right of way, their act of negligence directly caused the injury to the other driver.

The injured second driver in the above scenario must provide evidence that the texting driver’s actions were the primary cause of their injury. In other words, they must present medical evidence that the injury occurred from the accident and not because they slipped on an icy patch at home later that same day. Seeking medical treatment immediately after the car accident provides proof that the injury occurred in the accident and that the driver’s negligence was the primary cause.

Negligence and Liability in a Personal Injury Claim in Connecticut

When an injury victim proves that another person’s negligent action caused their injury, it means the at-fault party is liable for the damages. Payment for damages caused to another typically comes from the at-fault party’s insurance. The type of insurance depends on the type of injury; for example, car insurance in a car accident case, or premises liability insurance for a slip-and-fall claim. Proving liability for damages also depends on proving the following legal points related to the at-fault party’s negligence:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent causing injury to others
  • They breached this duty of care through negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing
  • Their negligent breach of duty directly caused the injury
  • The victim suffered damages due to the injury

Even if a person or business’s negligence caused someone else to experience an injury, they won’t have a case for claiming damages if they didn’t sustain provable damages due to the injury. Damages in a personal injury case can include medical expenses, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of limb, and in some cases, loss of pleasure in life or loss of consortium (the ability to enjoy a full emotional and physical relationship).

Because the law requires evidence and precision to prove negligence in a personal injury claim in New Haven, most injury victims seek skilled legal representation to prove their claim.