Personal Injury 101

There are many types of personal injury cases. They often arise from car wrecks, but they can result from other causes as well, such as slipping and falling on a floor and from defective products.

When we say personal injury case, we are talking about an injury that results from the fault or negligence of someone else.  The other person’s negligence gives the injured person the right to seek payment from the person who caused the injury.

What is negligence? The “law-school” definition usually contains four parts or elements.  

            1.  The first element is duty. A person must have a duty or responsibility to the injured person. For example, all drivers have a duty to everyone else to drive carefully and to obey the traffic laws.

            2.  The second element of negligence is breach of duty. For example, if a person drives through a red light, he has breached his duty to drive lawfully and safely.

            3.  The third part of negligence is damage.  As a result of the breach of  duty,  another person must be harmed or damaged. Running through a red light without causing a wreck or injury can get you a traffic ticket, but if no one is harmed, there is no negligence case.

            4.  Finally, the injured person’s damage must be directly caused by the failure of the other person to uphold his duty (this last element goes by the rather technical- sounding name “proximate cause”). 

            So, if you enter an intersection with a green light, and another driver fails to stop for the red light and hits you, and as a direct result you are injured, then you may have a personal injury claim against the other driver.             

If you’ve been hurt in an accident please contact me for a free consultation.