What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
Gregg Hollander | October 2, 2022 | Car Accidents
People in Florida can suffer injuries from many different types of incidents, including car accidents, bicycle accidents, and boating accidents. The injuries sustained by those involved in these kinds of accidents can result in extensive medical costs, lost wages due to the time spent away from work in recovery, and emotional distress.
An injured victim might bring a claim to compensate them for their damages if the at-fault party was negligent and owed them a duty of care, violated a statute resulting in the injuries, or intended to cause harm.
A personal injury claim is brought to hold a defendant legally liable for the injury caused to another party from their actions and the resulting negative effects on their emotional or mental health, reputation, and/or way of living. A personal injury attorney helps injured parties bring their claim by collecting the evidence needed to prove the at-fault party’s liability or negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party or their insurance company.
What Are the Elements Of a Personal Injury Claim Based on Negligence?
Most personal injury cases are brought under the theory of negligence. A personal injury can arise from various parties and circumstances, ranging from slips and falls to motor vehicle accidents to medical malpractice.
However, the concept between these cases is typically the same: one party is injured due to another party violating their duty of care to the victim. In a personal injury case, the injured party (plaintiff) has the sometimes difficult task of proving all of the elements of negligence and tying their injuries or damages to the alleged at-fault party’s actions.
Below are the elements of negligence cases:
Duty of Care
In order to prevail in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant (the at-fault party) owed them a duty of care. A duty of care is the legal obligation to comport with a reasonable standard of care while performing certain acts. The duty of care can vary depending upon the parties involved, their relationship to one another, and other factors.
Breach of Duty
After the duty of care is established, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached this duty. In other words, did the defendant fail to live up to their duty of care? If the answer is yes, the plaintiff is one step closer to proving their negligence claim.
Typically, personal injury claims are scrutinized under a “reasonable standard of care.” This standard is evaluated by asking what a “reasonable person” would have done under similar circumstances.
The “reasonable person” is a fictitious person used to evaluate how the average person would have responded in similar circumstances under which the defendant acted.
To win under the theory of negligence in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of duty directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries or damages. This is known as the element of “causation.”
If the plaintiff’s own actions caused or aggravated their injuries, insurance companies or defendants might use this to disprove causation and limit or eliminate the defendant’s liability.
Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual damages or injuries due to the defendant’s actions. Injuries in personal injury cases can be both physically visible and invisible, such as emotional or mental damages suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.
The plaintiff may collect both economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury claim. Economic damages include things like medical bills and lost wages which have clear dollar amounts. Non-economic damages include things such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
What Steps Should I Take After a Personal Injury Accident in Florida?
After you are involved in an accident, you should take a number of steps to assist you in potential future claims or litigation, including:
- Get medical attention: It is important to attend to your injuries immediately and to seek medical help. Even if you do not visibly see or physically experience injuries immediately after the accident, you should still see a medical professional.
- Collect evidence: Photos and videos of the scene, insurance of the involved parties, and any other tangible evidence you can collect will help if you need to file a claim or lawsuit.
- Keep records of the accident: Medical records obtained directly after the accident or medical bills incurred later on are essential to track and keep. If the police are called to the scene of your accident, obtain a copy of this report too.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: Lawyers provide services to help you obtain damages when you suffer an injury because of another person. They are there to guide you through the process and seek the remedies to which you are entitled.
Contact a Boca Raton personal injury attorney today for a free consultation if you want to seek compensation after an accident.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401