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Do You Have a Legitimate Personal Injury Claim?

Sizzling LEO | 3:17 AM | 2 comments


Serious accidents can change a person’s life. Injuries suffered in accidents can eliminate one’s ability to walk, bend, or perform other basic functions. This can affect one’s ability to do their job. If the injured party was not at fault in the accident, he or she should consider discussing his or her options with local counsel.

Strict liability may be imposed for ultra-hazardous activities or in limited circumstances, but the usual cause of action for personal injury is negligence. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that that care was the actual and proximate cause of his or her injuries. Every element is subject to contention in court.

Duty of Care

One can assume a duty of care or there can be a special relationship involved. Generally, individuals are expected to act reasonably when performing an act that may be reasonably foreseen as harmful.

Breach

Courts use a reasonable person test to determine whether an individual has violated his or her duty of care. According to the attorneys at www.miamiaccidentlawyers.net, reasonable behavior is subjective and the jury will decide whether the conduct comports with that test. If the defendant did not act with “caution such as a man of ordinary prudence would observe,” the defendant may have breached his or her duty.

Causation

Causation is actually split into two separate elements: actual cause and proximate cause. Proving actual cause is rarely not normally an issue. But for the defendant’s actions, the injury would not have occurred. In the event of a straightforward injury like a traffic accident, proving that the careless act was the actual cause is relatively simple.

Proximate cause is often more challenging. The test is whether the injury was reasonably foreseeable from the breach of the duty of care. Intervening events can greatly diminish the foreseeability of a particular consequence. For example, it is reasonably foreseeable that spilling water on a tile floor can lead to someone slipping and falling on it. It is probably not reasonably foreseeable that water spilled on the floor will lead to a severely hydrophobic person several feet away screaming and running out the door, knocking down another individual in the process. In that case, the panicked hydrophobic might be considered a superseding intervening factor, and the injured party may recover from that person but not the individual who spilled the water.

Proving causation gets easier as intervening factors decline.

Injury

The very injury itself is the final element of negligence and a possible point of contention. If an individual is clearly injured and the scope of that injury is known, then there will usually not be a dispute regarding this element.

However, there may be disputes as to whether there is an injury at all. In that case, hiring expert witnesses to testify that an injury has occurred will be necessary. Additionally, if an individual has a preexisting injury that becomes aggravated by a negligent act, he or she is only entitled to the difference between the existing injury and the new injury.

Injured parties should not suffer from other parties’ negligence. If you think you have a legitimate personal injury claim, contact an attorney for a consultation.

Author: Chris Bennett is a legal researcher and regular contributing author for www.miamicaraccidentlawyers.net. A personal injury claim is a serious issue and potentially a financial and physical nightmare. Miami Car Accident Lawyers will help you find an attorney that will provide defense for those involved in accidents, wrongful death, manslaughter, and robbery cases, to name a few.

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