Everything You Need to Know About Proving Personal Injury in Court

The last thing anybody needs is to find themselves on the receiving end of an injury due to an accident that was out of their control. However, this is quite frequent as accidents can happen in nearly any situation between people or parties. Many individuals believe they must suffer through injuries for life without receiving anything in return, but this assumption could not be further from reality. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may be your best course of action to remedy their circumstances and gain justice in return.

What is Personal Injury Law?

Those who have never heard of personal injury law before would be forgiven considering it is a lesser known form of tort law. The official definition of tort law is a form of law which directly deals with addressing a wrongdoing committed against a person by another person or group. The matter is handled in civil court, as opposed to criminal court, and focuses on providing a harmed party relief, often in the form of monetary compensation, following the incident. 

Common Examples of Personal Injury Cases

Understanding personal injury cases may seem complex at first, so some examples can help clarify its meaning more fully:

  • A healthcare professional acting without reason and engaging in surgeries you did not authorize
  • A person allowing their violent animal to roam off-leash only for it to attack somebody
  • A distracted driver on their phone hitting a pedestrian who had the right-of-way
  • A product a person purchase malfunctioning and causing an unforeseen injury  

How Much Can Be Won from a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

One reason a large number of people hold back from filing a personal injury lawsuit is because they erroneously believe that they will walk away with nothing after paying lawyer fees. However, a study by Forbes found that the median settlement amount of personal injury lawsuits was actually closer to $30,000, with the potential for far higher amounts depending on the type of personal injury case in question. This is why having an initial discussion with a lawyer regarding the details of your case is so crucial. 

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

One of, if not the, most important aspects of a personal injury case is proving that negligence existed on behalf of the party who caused the accident. Regardless of if the party who caused the accident is only found to be 60% at-fault, if negligence existed on their behalf then you may have a shot at still settling for a fair amount. 

What is Negligence?

Negligence is simply acting with certain behaviors that show a general disregard for yourself and others around you. This behavior is really defined as any type of behavior that a reasonable person in the same situation would not have behaved in and which could lead to the injury of other people around them. In short, negligence in personal injury means fault. 

The Three Foundations of Negligence in Personal Injury 

Proving negligence existed in a potential personal injury lawsuit is easier said than done as there are three main aspects that must be proven. These three aspects, in order, include: 

  1. Duty of Care

The first step in proving a person acted negligently in your personal injury lawsuit is proving they had a duty of care owed to you. A duty of care simply means that there was an obligation on behalf of the defendant to act in such a manner that they avoid careless acts which could lead to the harm of others around them. 

  1. Breach of Duty of Care

Secondly, it must then be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting in such a manner that they created a potentially dangerous situation through their actions. For example, a driver making the decision to look down to check their phone could qualify as a breach of their duty of care to other people around them. 

  1. Causation

To establish that negligence existed, one must demonstrate how the breach of duty by defendant led directly or proximally to injuries suffered by plaintiff by creating the accident itself.

What You Need to Know About Filing Damages

Regardless of the type of personal injury case you may be filing for, it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible after the event. For example, getting help after an electric scooter accident may seem pointless considering how often those accidents occur, but a lawyer can help you identify the details in your case that could stand out in court. 

To that end, after a lawyer helps you establish negligence in the courtroom there will also be the matter of damages. A persona can choose to file either general or special damages, with the former being related to non-economic or non-tangible injuries and the latter being related to economic or tangible damages. 

Examples of general damages may be pain and suffering expenses, such as PTSD, whereas an example of special damages could be more like medical expenses such as surgery costs, healthcare treatments, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket expenses a person may have paid related to their injuries. A lawyer can assist you in determining which type of damages may be best for you given your case. 

The Bottom Line

Personal injury lawsuits may not be suitable for everyone after an accident occurs, but for those who fall within its definition they can prove invaluable. Consult an accredited personal injury attorney as soon as possible regarding your circumstances to help decide whether a suit should be pursued and outline damages to be claimed in order to make their case stronger.

Richard Maxwell

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