Personal Injury Lawyers are lawyers who are skilled in giving legal counsel and representation to clients who are seeking redress from the court on the account of personal injury.
Personal injury (also known as Tort law) refers to the damage done to an individual’s body or mind due to the negligence or misconduct of another person. Personal injury cases are so widespread and encompass several situations hence there is so much distinction between the various cases which fall under the umbrella of personal injury. However, there are several elements or factors which help determine if a case actually qualifies as a case of personal injury or not.
Elements Of A Personal Injury Claim
There are four elements that must be found in a personal injury claim for it to be considered valid. They include:
- A duty of care: This refers to if there was a legal duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant during the period that the injury occurred. For instance, if the defendant was a driver, he owed the plaintiff the duty of getting him to his destination safely.
- Breach of duty: If the duty of care has been established, the next element that needs to be considered is if the duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant was breached during the period under consideration. Did the defendant do anything either mistakenly or deliberately at any point during that period that prevented him from fulfilling the duty owed to the plaintiff?
- Injury’s connection to breach: For a personal injury claim to be considered valid, the plaintiff needs to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the cause of the injury is the breach of duty by the defendant. This means that the plaintiff needs to show that if not for the breach of duty by the defendant, the injury to the plaintiff would never have happened.
- Damages: Finally, the plaintiff needs to be able to show the court what the injury has cost him. With the assistance of good personal injury lawyers such as the ones at https://www.dsslaw.com/, he would need to show how the injury has affected his life negatively in terms of livelihood, properties, reputation, opportunities, and many more. It is through this particular element that the plaintiff can justify to the court what he is seeking from the defendant as redress.
Types Of Personal Injury Cases
There are several types of personal injury cases which contain the elements listed above. However, we would look at just three in this article. They are:
Automobile accidents are most likely the most common cases of personal injury. A good reason for this is that incidences of road traffic accidents are on the high side with no sign of coming down anytime soon. Most road traffic accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver (such as overspeeding or beating traffic lights) and the victims of automobile accidents are most times pedestrians and passengers and sometimes drivers.
Regardless of whether you were a pedestrian, passenger or fellow driver, the offending driver has a duty to you to drive safely and failure to do so breached his duty to you, causing the accident and your injuries which will no doubt bring about damages to your person.
Automobile accidents are one the easiest cases of personal injury to prove because although there are some road traffic accidents that occur due to circumstances beyond the driver’s control, most accidents that occur on the road are caused either by the negligence of the driver or his deliberate refusal to adhere to traffic rules and regulations. So as long as the plaintiff is armed with accurate evidence and witnesses backing his claim (and a good lawyer of course), he would definitely be successful in his claim of personal injury.
Medical malpractice is another case that comes up more often in personal injury claims. It is so rife these days that medical doctors have begun to take insurance to cover the cost of defense if a medical malpractice charge is ever brought up against them.
Medical malpractice refers to a situation where a medical doctor exhibits an error in judgment or misconduct in the carrying out of his clinical duties. Medical malpractice is considered a really serious offence because medical malpractice almost always affects negatively the life of the patient placed in the doctor’s care and most times the effect can be adverse or even fatal. This goes against the Hippocratic oath which medical doctors are made to swear upon their induction into the medical profession. That oath gives them a duty of care to the patient and anything that makes them breach it makes them guilty of causing personal injury.
Unlike in automobile accidents, the case of personal injury in medical malpractice is harder to prove because very few people (usually only those in the medical and legal profession) have a clear understanding of what a doctor is legally bound to do for a patient and the extent he can go in the care of such patient. Coupled with this, medicine is a very volatile profession. A doctor can do everything right yet the patient would not recover and might even further regress. Hence, it is of utmost importance to get a skilled lawyer who has a good understanding of medical ethics and practices to assess your case and (if he decides it’s viable), represent you.
Product malfunction occurs when a product does not work according to specification or as advertised by the manufacturer. It could be caused by either a factory error encompassing just that product or the whole set. It could also be caused by the use of inferior materials or even outright misinformation by the manufacturer of the product.
Regardless of the cause of the product malfunction, if it causes harm to any individual physically, mentally, or otherwise it can become a personal injury claim.
Just like the claims in medical malpractice, product malfunction claims are hard to prove. Hence it is vital to get a lawyer who is good in cases like this and can handle the bulk of the research cases like this would entail.
Recently, personal injury cases have become harder to prove because of the involvement of insurance companies and criminal lawyers supporting the defense. However, if all the elements of personal injury cases are found in your case and your lawyer is sound, you would definitely win.