How Negligence Can Cause Personal Injury
If you have been physically injured because of another person’s conduct, you may have a valid personal injury claim based on that individual’s negligence.
Negligence can be a complex concept, because it is based on how reasonable people would act in the same circumstance.
Negligence must be proven – in other words, there must be clear evidence that the individual who caused injury did not act with reasonable care under the circumstances. Of course, not every reasonable person acts the same in a situation, which can make negligence a tricky thing to prove.
Obtaining a personal injury attorney is always recommended in negligence cases.
Ultimately, negligence falls under two categories:
- An individual failing to behave with the level of care that an ordinary person would in the same circumstances, and that lack of care causes damage or injury.
- An individual not acting when the situation calls for a duty to act.
Defining Reasonable Care
Reasonable care is the opposite of negligence. It is the standard degree of caution and concern a typical, rational person would exercise in a situation. It is a generalization of how most sensible people behave.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases Involving Negligence
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Work accidents
Examples of negligence:
Car accidents that result in personal injury are commonly caused by another driver’s negligence. A driver could be distracted by texting or talking on the phone, driving unsafely for the weather or road conditions, or simply disobeying traffic signs. This can quickly cause an accident that can leave an individual with physical injuries. In these circumstances, it can be argued that a reasonable person would know not to text while driving or drive too fast if the roads are wet.
Premise liability cases are also very common type of negligence injury. For example, if you are shopping at a grocery store and slip and fall because the store failed to clean up water that leaked onto the aisle floor, your personal injury is caused by negligence — particularly if it can be proven that the store was aware or should have been aware of the hazard and failed to correct it.
Accidents caused by negligence can lead to minor injuries, such as headaches, sprains, muscle spasms, and other short-term discomforts. They can cause more severe injuries as well, like broken bones, concussions, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In extreme cases, negligence may result in burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even wrongful death.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
There are many things that need to happen to conclude a personal injury case, including your recovery from the accident, your attorney’s investigation of your case, preparing for trial (if necessary), and the trial itself. Every one of these steps can take weeks or months, and sometimes even years to conclude. The complexity of each individual case, as well as the amount of money involved, are what often make the difference between a faster resolution and one that goes on for much longer.
The amount you will receive in any claim is calculated based on several factors; some that are easier to estimate, and some that are harder.
Your lawyer will work with you to come up with an estimate for your damages, or losses, you suffered as a result of the accident. Damages fall into 3 categories:
1. Compensatory, or Economic Damages are losses you can easily put a dollar amount on. These would include missed work, medical bills, and household expenses.
2. Non-Economic damages are still related to the accident, but are harder to put a dollar amount on. These are things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and impairment.
3. Exemplary or Punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party for their role in injuring the victim.
You should use extreme caution using social media while a personal injury case is pending. Discussing or posting pictures of your injury on social media or answering questions about it online is generally not a good idea. In fact, talk to your friends offline and ask them not to discuss it online.
The best thing to do is to stay away from social media altogether. It is not uncommon for the opposing party’s attorneys to use small, seemingly unrelated details as evidence that you are not as injured as you claim.
Suffering is suffering, and no matter how minor or severe your personal injury is, you deserve to be compensated.
Any injury can seriously disrupt your life. You may need to take time off work; you may incur unexpected medical bills; you may experience personal and emotional distress that affects your family and relationships.
It’s important to understand legal definitions as they pertain to your personal case. However, you should never rely on your own research and understanding to represent yourself in a personal injury case.
The experienced Lutz personal injury attorneys at Rivas Law Group are here to ensure your rights and best interests are properly protected. We encourage you to sit down and have a free consultation with one of our skilled accident lawyers.