Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer Provides the Answer
A personal injury (or tort) does not only refer to physical harm that other people caused you. A personal injury lawyer will tell you that this also involves emotional and mental injuries. It is not unusual that accidents happen, not only in roads but also in businesses. And when it does, pursuing litigation is an option for the victim. However, it is more common to reconcile these disputes through settlement instead of trial.
The very purpose of personal injury law is to make victims whole again, mostly regarding financial compensation. After all, people who have broken bones or amputated legs can never get their legs back. In some cases, the defendants can also face criminal penalties, in addition to civil penalties. But what qualifies for personal injury and what doesn’t? Below we provide an overview of the elements of a personal injury case.
An accident refers to an occurrence where you have suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence. This does not only apply to road accidents but also workplace accidents and product liability cases.
The person claiming personal injury must prove to the court that the defendant was negligent. There has to be proof that somebody is liable and that without this negligent person, you couldn’t possibly have injured yourself. An example of this is slipping on the floor of a restaurant that resulted in a broken hip bone, and there was no warning sign that the floor is wet.
In order to prove that a person or company has been negligent, your claim of negligence must establish four components: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.
Duty is defined as a legal obligation of a company or an individual. This includes a reasonable expectation for a person to comply with safety precautions. Personal duty includes conventional expectations like not setting a fire in a neighbor’s backyard, not shooting guns in an uncontrolled environment, and not ramming into someone else’s car.
Breach refers to a violation of duty. If someone did not act as any reasonable person would in his position, he is liable for breach. Causation refers to the result of the breach of duty. There must be proof that the breach caused harm. Even if you ram your car into someone else’s but it is empty, and no one is hurt, no one can sue you for personal injury. But they can sue you for property damage. Damage refers to the actual harm done, which can come in the form of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
In any case, a personal injury lawyer will ask if somebody intentionally harmed you. If you or the attorney can prove that the person who injured you had the intent to harm you and followed through, you can sue for personal injury. This is most often seen in battery, assault, robbery, and domestic violence cases. Every person is bound by law not to hurt people except in situations where self-defense is necessary. Being provoked verbally is not a justification for responding with physical violence.
Products that do not have specific warnings to caution a consumer can be liable for personal injury even if the manufacturer does not have any intention to hurt people. If the court finds a company to be negligent enough, and as a result, this negligence harmed an individual, the company will face personal injury charges even if the management meant no harm or had no intent. Companies must exercise the duty to create products that are safe for consumers. A breach of this duty, which resulted in harm, is enough to qualify for personal injury.
Last Updated: 03-24-2017