How can I prove my injury was caused by someone else’s negligent actions?

‘Negligence’ is a fairly broad term which can be confusing if you have recently suffered an injury for which you believe another party bears some responsibility. In short, a person is negligent if they have failed to meet the behavioral standards to protect you from harm which could have been prevented had they met those standards. If you are confused by what negligence means in regard to your situation, take a look at some common examples.

Car Accidents

Car accident negligence includes various reckless actions by the driver who caused the crash, such as cell phone use while driving, running a red light or stop sign or driving under the influence. Since the driver responsible for the accident could have prevented it by not engaging in careless or reckless behavior while driving, they are considered negligent and bear some responsibility for the injuries and harm caused to the other drivers involved.

Slip and Fall

A person is not necessarily entitled to compensation for injury and loss just because they fell on someone else’s property, as any negligence lawyer will tell you. Whether the property owner is negligent depends on what caused the slip and fall. For example, if you tripped over a clear door-frame that is in good condition, because you were distracted, the property owner is not responsible for any injuries. But if you are injured because your foot goes through stairs the owner has failed to repair or maintain, the owner may be liable for negligence for failing to act.

Dangerous Products

Manufacturers have a duty to produce items that perform in a reasonably safe way. A car maker, for instance, is expected to produce cars without defects which are dangerous. So, if a car manufacturer releases a model that has faulty brakes, it may be liable for negligence when drivers of the car are hurt because they cannot stop properly.

Do You Have a Case?

Essentially, you should always speak to a negligence lawyer before deciding whether you have a reason to go to court. A person with legal knowledge is better suited to determine the merits of your case. In the broader sense, if you are not at fault in whatever caused your injury but someone else is because they failed to behave reasonably, you probably have a valid case for negligence in court and are entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and other losses, such as wages lost because of your condition.

What kind of damages can be sought after in a personal injury claim?

Personal injury is an injury to the body or mental state rather than to one’s property. Be it negligence, deliberate action or misconduct, if physical or psychological damage is caused, one may file a personal injury claim. Some examples of frequent personal injuries cases include; motor vehicle accidents, incidents within the workplace, and medical malpractice.

Although all cases differ, in the majority of personal injury cases the injured plaintiff may be entitled to monetary compensation in court or an administrative proceeding.  Workplace injures differ from other personal injury claims in that an employer can only face liability in the  administrative forum called workers compensation, not in court before a judge and jury. Compensation awarded is intended to return the injured party to the state before the incident to the extent possible. Damages are categorized in two ways; special damages and general damages.  Special damages are quantifiable damages that result from the accident. For instance, in most cases that require medical attention as a direct result of the incident the injured plaintiff may be awarded monetary compensation for past, present, and future treatments. Additionally any items, ranging from motor vehicles to personal property, that have been damaged in the incident, are eligible for monetary compensation in order to restore the lost or damaged items. Lastly if either the injured plaintiff has been or is currently hindered from receiving income, the plaintiff may be entitled to receive compensation for lost work. While special damages are monetarily calculable, general damages are not as quantifiable. General damages include intangible suffering such as hardship, emotional distress and loss of amenity as a result of the accident. In most cases involving general damages, the injured plaintiff is entitled to monetary compensation in an amount determined by a jury to compensate for emotional distress.

However in some cases the actions of the injured plaintiff may affect the extent to which damages may be collected. For instance if the plaintiff has any fault in the incident or fails to mitigate the financial and physical damages resulting from the incident, damages may be cut or not given at all.  Lastly, all states have statutes of limitation. If the claim is not filed within the applicable time limit the injured person’s right to file a personal injury claim will be lost.

If you wish to learn more about the damages you can receive in a personal injury case, speak to an experienced attorney to help you understand your rights.