Personal injury law (also referred to as tort law) can be very complex and nuanced. Learning the basics can help you understand how it all works.
Read on to learn more about personal injury law.
Personal Injury Elements
According to the American Bar Association, personal injury law “is designed to protect you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else's act or failure to act. In a successful tort action, the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered the losses.”
Generally, personal injury claims are concerned with two basic elements: liability and damages.
In order to receive compensation for your losses, you’ll need to be able to prove that the defendant is liable for the damages you endured and to what extent.
Duty of Care
We all have a certain duty of care that we’re expected to live up to in order to coexist within society. The duty of care is the requirement that we all act around others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that someone who’s reasonable in the circumstance would express.
If someone’s actions are misaligned with this standard of care, then they are acting negligently. Any damages, as a result, can be claimed in a negligence personal injury lawsuit.
Common Personal Injury Claims
One of the most common personal injury claims that people open are car accident claims. Since Washington is a “fault” state, a percentage of blame will be assigned to each driver involved in the crash.
If you’re injured because another person failed to execute reasonable care, also known as a breach of duty, you have a negligence claim.
Injuries from car accidents aren’t the only reason to file a personal injury lawsuit. The following are other types of personal injury claims that can be filed, so long as someone else causes the harm you endure:
- Slip, trip, & fall
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Dog bite injuries
- Elevator injuries
- Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) lawsuits
- Maritime accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Product liability
- Wrongful death
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
Bases for Personal Injury Claims
While negligence is a major basis for a personal injury claim, it is not the only basis in which to file such a claim.
Another basis for a personal injury claim is strict liability. This area of tort law holds designers and manufacturers accountable for injuries that stem from defective merchandise. If this is the basis for your claim, you won’t need to prove that the manufacturer acted negligently. Instead, you’ll have to display that the merchandise was designed or manufactured in such a way that made it unreasonably harmful when implemented as intended.
The last basis for a personal injury claim is for intentional wrongs. This basis is rarer than the other two, but it still may be used to prove wrongdoing. For example, if you go to sit down in a chair and someone pulls it out from underneath you as a joke, and you’re injured as a result, you may have a viable personal injury claim under the basis of intentional wrongs. Even though the person who took your chair out from under you didn’t intend to actually hurt you, the fact is that you got hurt due to an action that they took against you.
In addition, this basis may be used in combination with criminal charges brought by the government. For instance, you’re assaulted in the street by a robber. While the government may bring criminal charges against the robber for stealing as well as battery, you may also file a personal injury claim under the basis of intentional wrongs.
We’re Here to Help
If you find yourself in the need of a personal injury attorney, look no further than our team here at Dore Law Group, PLLC. We have helped hundreds of other people achieve the justice they deserved; let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your case right away.
Give our Kent personal injury attorney at Dore Law Group, PLLC a call today at (253) 236-3888 to discuss your case.