Defining Key Terms In A Personal Injury Case


If you have been injured by someone else, you do not necessarily have legal recourse to sue the injuring party. You need to be able to prove that you were injured due to their negligent actions. The key word here is "prove." Assuming that the person who injured you does not readily admit to taking a course of action that put you in harm's way or failing to take action to prevent harm, how do you prove that they did indeed injure you? To make a strong case, you need to understand the way that the law looks at personal injury cases. 


The first key in making a personal injury case is to prove that the person you believe to be responsible for your injuries had some duty of care to perform. For example, if you slipped on an icy sidewalk and broke your ankle, you need to find out to whom the sidewalk belongs. Once you find the person responsible for shoveling snow from the sidewalk, you then need to find out if they did everything possible to keep the sidewalk free of snow. If they did, you have no case. 

Breach of Responsibility

Just because someone has a duty of care does not necessarily mean that they are responsible for your injuries. You need to show that they have breached their responsibility, or in other words, that they have failed to provide reasonable means to ensure your safety. Taking the example of the sidewalk from above, if you can show that the property owner responsible for the sidewalk you slipped on did not clean the sidewalk for several days, you might have a case. 


Just because someone has breached their responsibility of care does not mean they are entirely at fault for your injuries. Once more returning to the sidewalk example, if you were texting on your phone or otherwise not paying attention, your inattentiveness, at the very least, could have contributed to your injuries.

Taking this idea of shared fault into account, some states will determine what percent the victim was at fault and then take away that percent of the money you would otherwise have been awarded. For example, if you were 25% at fault, the judge would take away 25% of the money the jury awards you. Other states will set a pre-determined percent for contributory fault and throw out cases if the plaintiff (the injured party) contributed more than that percent. For example, if you were more than 30% at fault for your injures, you have no case. Thus, it is important to learn how your state looks at contributory fault before you bring a case to court. 

It is frustrating to feel like you were injured through no fault of your own. Paying the doctor bills in such cases is just insult to injury. While there is legal recourse for those who are injured through the negligent actions of another, you need to make sure you have a strong case before you take it to court. Contact a company like GSJones Law Group, P.S. for more information.


20 July 2016

Find Legal Help for Your Loved Ones

After my mom turned 68 years old, she started doing all kinds of strange things. She spent her monthly retirement checks on excessive amounts of food and clothing but didn't pay her rent or bills on time. At one point, she forgot who I was to her. Since my mom lived alone at an independent apartment complex, I couldn't monitor her behavior every second of the day. I brought these things to my mom's attention, but she refused to get medical help. After my mother called the fire department to report a fake fire, I took legal action. I contacted a general attorney and became my mother's power of attorney. I now had the right to monitor my mom's finances and medical care. If your loved one needs help, read my blog for information on general attorneys. You'll find tips, articles and much more to help you get started.