What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Case?

personal injury

No one wants to get involved in a personal injury case, but since most of those types of cases are accidents, sometimes involvement is inevitable and unavoidable. When you suffer a personal injury, that means you will need compensation to cover all of the expenses caused by the accident; those expenses could include medical bills, repair bills, and recovery for any lost income due to your being unable to work. However, some people may not try to get any compensation because they may not realize that they have a personal injury case.

That is why it is important that you know what qualifies as a personal injury case and what does not. If you do have a legitimate case, then you are going to need the help and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. They will help you to build your case and give you the best chance of getting the compensation that you deserve.

What is a Personal Injury?

A personal injury is when someone gets injured due to the negligent behaviour of someone else. That might seem like a pretty broad definition but there are certain elements that a case needs to have before it can be considered a personal injury. They are as follows:

  1. The defendant— i.e. the person who caused the accident— owed the victim a duty of care. A duty of care means that the defendant was obligated to act in a reasonable and rational manner given the circumstances. For instance, a driver owes a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians by following the rules of the road. A store owner owes a duty of care to their customers by making sure that the store is always safe.
  1. The duty of care was violated. This violation is typically due to negligence, such as a driver that is texting when they should be paying attention to the road.
  1. The breach of the duty of care caused an accident. If someone is negligent, then that is bad but it is not enough for a personal injury case. The negligent behaviour must be the direct cause of an accident. For example, a store owner knew about a spill that made the floor slippery but did not clean it or warn customers about it. That is negligent but if a customer slips and hurts themselves, then it becomes a personal injury case.
  1. The accident caused losses to the victim. If someone causes an accident due to negligence but no one is hurt and no property is damaged, then they are very lucky, but also the other people involved do not have a personal injury case. They only have a case if someone suffers significant losses due to the accident, meaning they got seriously hurt or they experienced damage to their property that requires expensive repairs.

If a case has all four of these elements, then it qualifies as a personal injury case.

Examples of Personal Injury Cases

The elements of a personal injury case are strict but they still cover a wide variety of situations. So if you find yourself in any of the following situations, then you may have a valid personal injury case on your hands:

Car Accidents

These are among the most common kinds of personal injury cases because car accidents are so common. However, they have to be caused by negligence before they can be considered to be personal injury cases.

Slip and Fall

This is another common type of personal injury and though it does not sound that serious, a slip and fall can leave a person with serious injuries.

Medical Malpractice

These can be among the more serious types of personal injury cases because they can leave a patient worse for wear than when they visited the medical professional. That also makes medical malpractice one of the more difficult types of personal injury cases because the patient was already unwell before the medical professional made things even worse.

Assault and/or Battery

Most personal injury cases are accidents, but deliberate acts of violence can count as well. In cases like these the perpetrator will also face criminal charges in addition to the personal injury case. The criminal charges are to mete out punishment while the personal injury charge is to provide restitution to the victim.

Product Liability

When a product malfunctions while being used in the correct way, and that malfunction causes an injury, then the victim can pursue a personal injury case. However, they have to choose the right target because the defect could have happened during the design process, the manufacturing process, or the distribution process. Once the party responsible for the defect has been identified, a personal injury case can be made against them.

Animal Bites

If a pet that was not properly trained or restrained injures someone, then the owner of the pet can be held liable for the attack.

An Attorney Can Help You With Your Personal Injury Case

As you can see, there are a wide variety of situations where a personal injury case is applicable. If you find yourself in any of those situations, then you should get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They have the expertise to help you get the compensation that you need to cover your accident-related expenses.