When someone is injured because of the actions or neglect of someone else in a variety of situations, there is often the potential for a personal injury claim. Personal injury covers a broad range of situations where a party’s negligence or deliberate action causes harm to the mind, body or emotions of a person. There are a wide variety of examples of personal injury. They include:
- When a customer slips and falls and is injured, because of a spill in a restaurant.
- When a doctor prescribes the wrong medication to a patient and the patient becomes very ill, missing work for an extended period of time.
- When a consumer purchases an electric shaver and with normal use get is badly cut on his face by the shaver.
- When a driver is rear-ended by a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel of his truck.
- When a victim is not only mugged but also beaten up by the assailants.
- When someone trips and falls on a broken sidewalk that has been long neglected by the city.
Each of these scenarios fit under medical malpractice, automobile accidents, slip or trip and fall, defective products, assault or liability and are explanations of situations that can result in someone having the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Determining personal injury requires meeting a set of criteria that include:
Duty of Care
Duty of care means that every one of us as individuals, companies, and even the government, maintain normal behavior and standards. If we own property or a business, are a doctor or sell products or services, we have an obligation to those we come in contact with to give reasonable care. Someone driving an automobile must drive it safely and a restaurant must not have slippery floors that are likely to cause someone to fall. All of these instances and many other speak to the presumption that one can reasonably have when they come in contact with a person, business or government entity. It must be established in a personal injury case that the defendant has a duty of care obligation to the person injured.
Breach of Duty
For there to be liability by the plaintiff, it must be clearly established that the defendant breached this duty. If there was a spill left on the floor of a restaurant, a driver was driving drunk, or a bus had malfunctioning seatbelts, this creates a breach of duty on behalf of the defendant.
For there to be negligence by the defendant, there must be causation meaning it must be proven that his breach of duty caused the plaintiff to be injured. In a car accident the plaintiff must prove that a driver’s reckless, irresponsible or malicious behavior caused the accident which caused the plaintiff to be injured.
In a personal injury case, compensatory damages must be able to be calculated and assessed. Some damages like loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage and loss of enjoyment of life suffered by the victim are easy to calculate. Other damages including for pain and suffering and more difficult to calculate and are open to the agreement of the parties in a settlement or to the jury or a judge in the event of a court case. In the event the person or entity causing the personal injury is found to be malicious or that the harm was intentional, there can be punitive damages awarded to the victim.
Personal injury cases are complicated and have many factors that must be full understood and managed in order for a victim to receive the damages he or she may be due. This requires the work of skilled attorneys like the Hansen Law Firm, who have a history of securing fair settlements for their clients. They can work with clients every step of the way and explain the factors listed here in great detail. If you feel you have been a victim of personal injury contact the Hansen Law Firm for a consultation.