When you have been injured because of someone else, you may be considering a personal injury claim. In order to have a valid case, you have to be able to prove that the other party’s actions were actually the cause of your injury. The basis of a personal injury claim can be negligence, intentional wrong, or strict liability.
Negligence is the most common basis for personal injury claims. In order to prove that negligence played a role in your injuries, you will have to prove four different elements:
1. Duty of Care – You have to show that duty of care was present, which means that in the situation, the other party had a duty to behave in a manner that would be reasonable for the situation. For example, drivers have the duty of driving carefully to avoid harming others, and stores must make sure there is nothing that can make a person slip, trip, or fall.
2. Breach of Duty – This is proven if the responsible party acted in a way that was unreasonable, such as by driving recklessly, manufacturing a defective product, or failing to clean up a hazard on the floor.
3. Direct Injury – You will have to prove that the actions, or breach of duty, were the true cause of the injuries you suffered. If someone runs a red light and hits you, his or her act of failing to stop was the direct cause.
4. Losses – You will also have to show that you suffered monetary loss due to your injuries, such as medical bills and losing wages due to being unable to perform your work duties.
Intentional wrongs are another potential basis for a personal injury claim. Intentional wrongs are actions that the other party did willingly, even though he or she knew injury was a likely outcome. This comes into play in cases of battery – even though it is a criminal offense, it can be a civil one, as well. Additionally, if the other person had knowledge that made it clear that the action might result in injury, it is considered intentional wrong.
Strict liability is the basis for personal injury cases that arise due to the use of defective products. This type of case is generally brought against the manufacturer or designer of the product that caused your injury. The caveat in this situation is that you had to be using the product in the manner in which it was intended to be used at the time of your injury.
If any of these situations were in play at the time of your injury, and you suffered damages of some kind, such as medical bills, lost wages, or even pain and suffering, you may have a personal injury claim. While you always have the option of attempting to file your lawsuit on your own, it is always recommended that you at least consult with a personal injury attorney about your case. He or she will be able to help you determine whether you have a strong case, and whether you are entitled to any damages.