In most personal injury cases, the injured party has some idea how they received their injuries and who was responsible. However, in some situations, there is little to no evidence of how an injury was caused. In this situation, courts may apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to create a presumption that the defendant was negligent.
Of course, courts cannot apply the res ipsa loquitur doctrine to every case in which there is insufficient evidence to prove what happened. In order for the doctrine to apply, certain elements must be met:
- The accident must be a type that would not normally occur without some act of negligence; and
- The instrumentality or condition that caused the accident must have been in the sole control of the defendant.