Have you ever been hurt by someone’s reckless actions? It might be time to file for a personal injury claim. Thousands of people are injured yearly in different accidents, but not all have grounds for filing a personal injury trial. Legally, a personal injury is bodily harm, mental anguish, or emotional suffering caused by someone’s negligence. Such accidents include slips and falls, car accidents, assaults and violence, medical malpractice, and injuries caused by flawed consumer products. While filing for a personal injury lawsuit, it’s essential to understand its elements, as discussed below.
1. Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care
In your day-to-day activities, there is a degree of caution that you exercise. This element is dependent on the situation. For example, while driving a car, it’s expected that one obeys the traffic rules, doesn’t drunk drive, and doesn’t drive while texting. The practitioner’s duty of care is exercisable to the patient in the medical profession. Failure to exercise reasonable care may lead to liability, while exercising reasonable care can establish that a party acted acceptably and is therefore not chargeable.
2. Breach of Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care
This element establishes whether the party that caused personal injury failed to exercise reasonable care. A tort can occur when one fails to fulfill the duty to care for another person. The offender is liable to the accuser when this breach occurs, whether the action was deliberate or unintended but negligent. Click here to learn more about the breach of due care, and you can picture a situation where the defendant might have done something careless, such as failing to put up a wet floor sign. In this case, the action wasn’t intentional but didn’t invalidate the defendant’s liability since it caused a slip-and-fall accident. An example of an intentional case is when a person drives drunk, speeds past a red light, and causes an accident. To file for a personal injury claim, it’s also essential to figure out if the failure to exercise the duty of care led to an accident, which leads to the next component.
Ideally, for a victim to claim personal injuries, the wrongdoer must have at least contributed to the injury. For instance, a driver texting close to where a car has hit another cannot be charged with personal injuries since his actions didn’t contribute to the injury in any way. In the case of contributory negligence, it might be that the wrongdoer isn’t solely to blame for the injury, and the victim might also have been negligent. Here, the victim’s neglectful involvement might reduce their recovery or entirely bar recovery. Even if the plaintiff is 99% responsible for the accident, they can claim 1% of damages. Without evidence of injury, a lawsuit may not go forward.
4. Actual Damages Suffered
Essentially, the loss is due to injuring party’s negligence. The basis for the personal injuries claim is to compensate for economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages include medical bills, lost wages for missed work, and future lost earnings due to incapacity. In contrast, the non-economic include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and quality of life. In some cases, if the injuries aren’t severe, those involved don’t pursue legal action.
A personal injury lawsuit can provide compensation for damages suffered, but it is important to know what you’re getting into. Non-economic damages are difficult to quantify, but an estimated financial compensation can help victims recover from a traumatic injury. You can opt for an attorney to look into facts, assess the elements of the lawsuit, and advise on the way forward.