Accidental Injury Lawyers
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What Is An Accidental Injury?
In personal injury law, an accidental injury is one that occurs without any intentional conduct on the part of the defendant. Some personal injuries are caused by intentional conduct, such as an assault or a battery. However, most personal injuries claims are based on injuries that happened “on accident”. Examples of such situations that involve accidental injuries may include:
- Slip and fall claims
- Car accidents
- Product liability claims
- Holiday accidents
- Hazardous material/toxic tort claims
- Premises liability injuries
In many accidental injury cases, there is actually no other person that is directly involved in the plaintiff’s injury. Inanimate, non-human objects often cause accidental injuries. Thus, proving liability in such claims can sometimes be difficult.
How Are Accidental Injury Claims Proven?
Accidental injury lawsuits are usually based on a negligence theory. This means that the plaintiff may have to prove:
- The defendant who caused the injury owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- That duty was breached by the defendant
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the injury to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered injury because of the defendant’s conduct
Two types of evidence usually prove a negligence case: direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Evidence that is collected from personal knowledge of a witness or from images seen in a photo or video would be direct evidence. Other evidence that leads to direct evidence and does not directly show proof of negligence would be classified as circumstantial evidence.
Thus, while the person may not have directly caused the accidental injury, it is their negligent conduct that created the conditions for the accident to occur.
What Are Some Remedies for Accidental Injury Lawsuits?
Damages in a personal injury claim may involve a compensatory damages award to reimburse the victim for the costs of their injuries. Special damages may also be collected for losses such as those relating to lost wages, irreplaceable items, or other more specific issues. Many personal injury awards may cover:
Compensatory Damages: These are damages that are intended to compensate the plaintiff for their losses that was caused by the accident. These damages are the loss that was caused directly from the defendant.
Restitutionary Damages: These are damages that are calculated based on the gain obtained by the defendant for their violation.
Punitive Damages: These damages are intended to punish the defendant if the defendant’s conduct was intentional or caused by malice. They are usually only granted in cases of willful or intentional conduct, and if there are also compensatory damages being issued. Many states place limits on the amount of punitive damages (usually about 3-10 times the amount of compensatory damages).
Pain and Suffering: These are granted in some cases where the victim can prove that they suffered additional hardships from the injury.
In some cases, other measures may be required from the defendant. For instance, in a products liability claim, the manufacturer of the product may be required to pull their product from the shelves, or to issue stricter warnings regarding the safety dangers of the product. Some states may allow a damages award to be reduced if the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries. These are known as contributory negligence laws, which operate differently in each state.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With an Accidental Injury Claim?
Accidental injury claims can often be difficult to prove, and generally require the assistance of a lawyer. You may wish to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area if you need assistance with an injury lawsuit. Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice and representation throughout the course of the entire process. Also, your lawyer can help you obtain the appropriate legal remedy for an accidental injury.
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Last Modified: 01-03-2017 10:38 AM PST
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