A personal injury lawyer should be called immediately when you’ve experienced an accident–or when you’ve been involved in any situation–that results in significant physical harm, whether this harm is temporary or permanent. By careful interviewing and fact-finding, your lawyer will know if another person(s), business or corporation is “legally responsible” for this harm.
PROVING WHO IS AT FAULT
The theory of negligence is at the crux of all cases in which “someone(s) acts in a careless way and causes injury to another.” If you and your personal injury lawyer decide to file a civil lawsuit in which you claim that steps taken by another entity are “legally responsible” for your injuries, you–the plaintiff–must show that the defendant(s):
- “owed you a legal duty,” as regards the circumstances of your injuries,
- went against this “legal duty” by “acting or failing to act,”
- caused your injuries directly through their “actions or inaction,” and
- harmed you through their actions or inaction.
For example, a doctor “owes you the legal duty” to employ best-practices in medicine, and another driver “owes you the legal duty” to cease texting, using controlled substances and arguing with a passenger while behind the wheel. The legal principle of a “reasonably prudent person” applies as the court tries to determine if the “average person, knowing what the defendant knew at the time (of your injuries),” would have perceived it highly likely that — if he continued certain actions(or omitted certain actions) — another would have been in physical danger. Such “a reasonably prudent person” would have, most assuredly, “acted differently (or failed to act) than the defendant did.”
And you, the plaintiff, can only recover “damages” — the costs of medical care now and in the future, lost work time, and “pain and suffering” — if you can prove that the defendant(s)’ actions or inaction were truly negligent and actually caused your injuries.
Likewise — those “unforeseeable,” but life-altering, events — such as the defendant’s chopping down a tree in a lot 150 yards from a street on which you were driving when a gust of wind picks up a branch and jettisons it through your drivers-side window knocking you unconscious — would not have been an action that the defendant could have reasonably predicted would cause injury. Therefore, your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit against this tree-chopper is unlikely.
Please contact us if you have been seriously injured and you believe another person, business or corporation is at fault.