What Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
It is no secret that accidents happen. What is more mysterious is the extent to which accidents may or may not be preventable. For example, lighting striking a tree that falls onto a road is not a preventable event in the sense that no human can direct where lightning strikes. However, it is up to government agencies in charge of road maintenance to minimize the likelihood that trees will fall into the road without warning. While the lightning strike isn’t preventable, even accidents in which a tree falls on passing cars may be legally actionable due to the government’s responsibility to maintain safe road conditions in order to minimize that travelers will be harmed during their journeys.
This is the essence of what it means to file a personal injury lawsuit. Answering such questions as “Could the accident have been prevented?” “Who or what was at fault for the harm that occurred?” “Is the responsible party liable for the financial losses suffered by the accident victim?” is the foundation upon which a successful or unsuccessful lawsuit is filed.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer can attest, no two personal injury scenarios ever unfold under the exact same circumstances. As a result, each personal injury scenario must be thoroughly investigated before causation and fault can be determined. Most of the time, to successfully prove that someone other than an injury victim was at fault for the harm that injury victim has suffered, three key elements must be met.
First, the defendant named in a lawsuit must have owed the victim a “duty of care” under the law. This element is usually the easiest to prove – as the law frequently requires individuals, companies, and entities to minimize risks of harm to others – but there are some exceptions to this rule of thumb.
Second, except under rare circumstances, it must be proven that the defendant breached their duty of care to the victim by acting negligently, recklessly, or in an intentionally harmful manner.
Third, it must be proven that the injury victim’s harm was caused directly as a result of the defendant’s breach.
It isn’t always easy to know if an injury victim has strong grounds upon which to file a lawsuit. If you’ve been injured and believe that you may have a cause of action, speak with an attorney to have your unique circumstances objectively evaluated.