When you watch a television advertisement for a personal injury law firm, you might think that their cases are exclusively about auto accidents. While there are many types of personal injury claims that are related to auto accidents, there are also various types of cases that can be handled by a personal injury attorney. Some of these include medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death claims.
Personal injury claims can provide monetary compensation for economic losses, which are referred to as general damages. These include things like loss of wages and medical bills. Emotional damage, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of activities that used to be enjoyed before the injury are referred to as non-economic damages.
Due to the varying geographical locations of people, the elements needed to prove a personal injury claim can vary depending on the situation. For instance, if you live in Michigan, there are four basic components of a personal injury case. When you hire the help of a lawyer from a firm like Christensen Law, they will discuss these four elements with you and help you get the best results for your case.
1. Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care (Liability)
To avoid being held liable for an accident, an organization or person must have a duty to take reasonable care of their surroundings. For instance, a doctor must provide the best possible care to their patients, and a car driver has a similar obligation to take the necessary steps to avoid accidents to keep their passengers safe. Homeowners, businesses, and other organizations also have a duty to provide a safe environment. The type of care that they must take depends on the situation.
2. Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care (Negligence)
A personal injury attorney can then show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care. For instance, if a doctor failed to diagnose a patient with heart disease, then they could be held liable for the accident resulting from the misdiagnosis. Another example would be the driver who was driving while intoxicated and caused an accident. These would be considered examples of reckless behavior.
One of the most important elements that a personal injury attorney can use to prove is causation. This means that the other person’s actions or inactions were directly linked to the injury sustained by the victim.
Let’s say that a car accident happened and the other driver hit you from behind. The other driver’s insurance company might agree that the other driver caused the accident, but they might also claim that your injury was not caused by the crash. It will take a lot of evidence, such as expert witnesses and medical records, to establish a link between the other person’s negligence and your injury.
4. Actual Damages Suffered
If the injury was minor, then it’s generally not a good idea to pursue a personal injury claim. However, if the plaintiff suffered significant damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma, then they can recover damages.
In a personal injury case, two types of damages are available to the plaintiff. These are economical and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the costs that the victim has already incurred, such as the cost of medical treatment and lost wages. On the other hand, non-economic damages are awarded on top of the out-of-pocket losses that the victim suffered. These are often referred to as pain and suffering damages.
A good personal injury attorney can help determine the elements needed to establish a successful claim. They can also help you identify the damages that are involved in your case and provide a value for the settlement that you can reach.
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