Personal injury law is a subject that millions of people utilize every year to seek fair compensation for accidents, injuries, and much more. When handled by an experienced attorney, the results of a personal injury lawsuit can help you get your life back on track by assisting you with financial expenses and other means of closure. In fact, without the existence of personal injury law, most victims would be left to fend for themselves with no suitable remedy to pay their bills and get their lives back on track.
As common and essential as personal injury cases may be, however, how the process works is a mystery to most people. What we’re going to do today is briefly break down the four elements of a personal injury case so that you’ll know exactly what they are and how each element is essential for a successful personal injury case.
Duty of Care
When you begin your personal injury case, you may hear the term “duty of care” bandied about in the initial discussions. If you don’t, that’s okay, because sometimes the duty of care is so obvious that there’s not any discussion about it. The duty of care refers to the legal obligation owed by one party to another in order to maintain a person’s safety and well-being. How this may relate to your specific situation depends on the type of accident that occurred and the parties involved. For instance, a store owner has the duty of care to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for its customers. Similarly, a driver has a legal obligation to operate his or her vehicle in a safe, responsible manner in order to fulfill the duty of care.
Breach of the Duty of Care
When deciding whether a case can be made against another party, the potential plaintiff and his or her attorney must determine whether or not the expected duty of care has been breached. In most cases, this comes down to demonstrating that the defendant failed to provide a level of care that any reasonable person would have provided under the same circumstances. Another way is to show that the defendant violated a law or statute, which was in place for the safety or protection of others. Common types of negligence, in the case of operating a motor vehicle, for instance, would include irresponsible behaviors such as disobeying traffic signals or texting.
This part of the process is where things really kick into gear for determining whether to not a plaintiff has a good personal injury case. In fact, this is where a plaintiff will be forced to do exactly that – prove that the injuries he or she has sustained (physical, mental, and/or emotional) resulted from the actions taken by or not taken by the defendant. In the state of Colorado, the plaintiff must prove causation by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that he or she must prove that the actions of the defendant, more likely than not, caused the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
The final element for a successful personal injury case is one that plaintiffs work extremely hard to prove – damages. In the state of Colorado, plaintiffs are permitted to seek compensation for all types of damages they’ve suffered, which include both economic and non-economic harm. Economic damages reflect past and future financial expenses or losses, such as medical bills and lost income due to the inability to work, and non-economic damages provide compensation for those harms that are not fiscal, such as lost enjoyment of live and pain and suffering.
Suffering an injury due to the fault of someone else can force you to put your life on hold while you attempt to recover from your injuries acquire fair compensation. Making a successful personal injury claim requires the assistance of an experienced attorney who can successfully navigate and effectively prove your case. If you’ve been involved in an accident or injury, reach out to Mintz Law Firm for a free case evaluation.