The general legal rule involving accidents is the following: if a person or entity causes an injury to another as a result of an act of carelessness or negligence, that person or entity (referred to in law as the tortfeasor) must pay the victim of the accident for the damages caused.
The victim who initiates a court proceeding to request indemnification for the damages suffered is the Plaintiff. The person that damages are requested from is the defendant. The Plaintiff (victim of the accident) must bear the responsibility of proving the case. This is called the “burden of proof."
To comply with the evidentiary burden the Plaintiff must show the following:
The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff.
The defendant breached a legal duty through conduct, either by affirmative conduct (an action) or a failure to act.
The defendant caused the accident and the damages of the plaintiff.