accounts for physical, emotional, and mental injuries that result from
an accident. Personal injury does not include damage to property. Furthermore, the legal definition of personal injury
stipulates that the accident from which injury occurs is the result of
the other party’s failure to act with reasonable care. Reasonable
care postulates that the party who caused the accident did not exercise
appropriate care and caution. This is determined by asking how a sensible
and rational person would act under the same circumstances. It can be
considered negligence if the other party is determined to have failed
to act with reasonable care. Negligence is a key element in most personal
injury cases to determine that another party is at fault for the resulting injuries.
The Elements of Negligence
For a successful negligence suit, five elements must be proven:
Duty: Is there a duty of care owed by the party the caused the accident
(defendant) to the injured party? This is often determined by the nature
of the relationship between both parties and what duty of care is involved
in that relationship. Often, a judge will determine duty.
Breach of Duty: If the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and failed
to use reasonable care in meeting that duty, that is a breach. This element
is determined by a jury.
Cause in Fact: The plaintiff must provide proof that defendant’s
actions led to injury.
Proximate Cause: The defendant is only responsible for the actions he or
she can foresee. If injuries occurred outside of what the defendant could
foresee, the plaintiff cannot prove the defendant is responsible for those injuries,
Damages: The plaintiff must prove that there were damages resulting from
the defendant’s negligence, not merely the presence of negligence.
What Counts as a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit can include injury or wrongful death cases from
accidents, liability, and medical malpractice.
Accidents: Accidents can include car, bicycle, pedestrian, boat, airplane,
truck, and construction accidents where one party’s negligence causes
injury to another party.
Liability: Liability can include product, premises, or nursing home liability.
Product liability holds companies, manufacturers, sellers, and distributors
of products responsible for safeguarding consumers against defective or
dangerous products. Premise liability places responsibility on the owner
and residents of land or premises if anyone sustains an injury. Nursing
home liability makes the nursing home responsible for injuries and deaths
resulting from negligence.
Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice holds medical professionals responsible
for patient harm due to negligence.
What Damages are Recovered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A successful personal injury lawsuit may recover special damages (medical
expenses, past & future, lost earnings, lost profits, etc..), general
damages (pain & suffering, past, present & future, diminished
capacity to labor, etc..) and, if appropriate, attorney’s fees and
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you believe you have a personal injury case, you need the help of an
experienced lawyer. In some cases, there is a time limit during which
you must submit your claim. Additionally, there are steps to take
following an injury
that can help you case. Atlanta metro area attorneys at Goldstein &
Hayes are here to help.
now for a free consultation.