Four Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
New Jersey Personal Injury Claims
Millions of personal injury claims are filed every year in the United States. Commonly you will see them being filed for car accidents, workplace accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, and even medical malpractice. Although these are the majority of cases, there are cases seen for all sorts of things such as dog bites or animal attacks. Regardless of type of accident case the claim involves, one thing is always the same: Someone is being sued for being negligent in their actions, thus causing harm to another. If you want to file a personal injury claim, there are four elements to consider that we will go over below.
Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care and Failure to Do So
The first important element to a personal injury case involves a duty to exercise reasonable care. This is, in a sense, a legal and moral obligation to handle a certain situation at a responsible level the average person is expected to do. With construction sites, workers are expected to maintain equipment and not leave loose tools on a scaffolding. Drivers are expected to only operate the vehicle when mentally sound and able to concentrate on the road. Owners of a premises in which people visit is expected to salt their sidewalks after snow and make sure loose handlebars are resecured. You must do your best to avoid risking harm or causing harm to others.
Once a duty of care is established, there then must be evidence to prove that someone failed to exercise that duty of care. For instance, there may be no way for an owner of a property to know immediately that another person may have damaged flooring or handrails. Thus if someone gets hurt soon after the damaged property, they may not actually be liable. There has to be proof a party was actually negligent in their responsibilities.
Causation of the Accident
The third element of a personal injury case involves causation. Even if someone had an expected duty of care and was negligent, they may not necessarily be able to be sued. You have to be able to prove that the cause of the accident that resulted in your injury was due to someone’s failure to exercise a duty of care. As an example, imagine a fatigued driver gets into a truck accident with you after running a red light. Although they may have been negligent in driving exhausted, they may not be the cause of the accident. You may perhaps be partially to blame by not watching the road or a brake manufacturer may be at fault resulting in the other driver not being able to break properly. Establishing causation is crucial for a personal injury case.
Actual Damages Caused by the Accident
The final element of a personal injury case involves damages. Naturally, if you have not actually sustained any serious injuries from someone’s negligence, there is no grounds for a lawsuit. A little bruising or few scrapes usually doesn’t constitute needing compensation. It needs to have been serious enough to cause actual real harm to someone such as medical bills, obvious scars or deformations, depression or mental anguish, loss of wages, loss of future promotions, etc. Without these damages or evidence of them, there is no case. An attorney can help you to gather evidence to prove these damages.
Contact an Egg Harbor Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to an accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Brown Law represent clients injured because of driving accidents in Pleasantville, Hammonton, Somers Point, Ventnor City, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 344-8270 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3123 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 201, Atlantic City, NJ 08041.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.