If you or a loved one has been injured due to another person's carelessness or wrongdoing, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries. The party liable in these cases may be an individual, business, or a government entity.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
- Slip, trip, and fall
- Motor vehicle
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
Elements of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
Most personal injury cases are the result of someone's negligence. If someone else's mistake, error, or failure to act caused you to suffer harm, you could have a claim against them for negligence. In order to prevail in a negligence case, you have to prove all four of these factors to hold the defendant liable:
Duty of care. The defendant in a personal injury case must have had a legal duty of care toward you. For example, the owner of a supermarket has a duty to take reasonable measures to keep the premises safe for customers.
Breach of duty. When the person with the duty fails to measure up to the standard of their legal obligation, it is negligence. For example, the supermarket fails to clean up a liquid spill after an extended period of time where they either knew or reasonably should have known that spill was on the floor. The supermarket has a responsibility to clean the spill so that one of the customers does not slip and hurt themselves. The supermarket doesn't clean the spill and a customer walking down the aisle slips on it. The supermarket was negligent.
Causation. The carelessness must be the thing that caused the harm. In the supermarket example, the customer walking down the aisle is pushing a shopping cart when her foot makes contact with the spilled liquid, causing her to fall to the floor. The negligent failure of the supermarket to clean the spill resulted in the customer's injuries from falling to the floor.
Damages. You must have quantifiable harm to pursue a personal injury claim, such as physical injuries, lost wages, and pain & suffering. If the customer had broken her hip that is one injury. If the broken hip has caused her to be unable to work for an extended period of times, she may have a lost wages claim. If the broken hip has caused her pain and suffering, she may have another quantifiable injury..
Types of Damages
Some types of possible compensable damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses for the treatment of your injuries
- Long-term care
- Lost income
- Loss of Companionship/Consortium