When you have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence or intentional act of another party, you have the right to recover your damages in a civil lawsuit. It is the court’s way of compensating the victim monetarily for the injuries suffered. It is important to understand what damages you are entitled to.
The first question to answer is to determine what type of personal injury claim you are bringing. Personal injuries are broadly categorized as intention, negligence-based, or strict liability.
Intentional Personal Injuries
An intentional tort claim can be brought if the party at-fault willfully or intentionally caused the personal injury. An intentional or willful tort does not always mean the party was aggressive physically. However, a defendant can be held liable for an intentional tort for willful negligence or willful ignorance that caused the injury.
Negligence-Based Personal Injuries
Torts resulting from negligence are the most common type of personal injury claims. When a party owes a duty of care, the party failed to provide that duty of care, and an injury was caused by this failure, the party is liable for this negligence. No willfulness or intention must be shown in order to prove negligence. A common example is a car accident. The at-fault driver likely did not intend to injure you, but her unsafe driving was negligent and imposes liability on her.
A defendant who did not act willfully, intentionally, or negligently may still be liable for your damages in a strict liability case. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant is substantially responsible for his or her injuries. For example, in a product liability lawsuit (such as your microwave exploding and burning you), the plaintiff can file a lawsuit under a theory of strict liability. Another common example of a strict liability case is when an animal bites another person and the owner of the animal is held strictly liable for the injuries sustained.
Our next blog will discuss the types of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured by another party, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Alex Cha & Associates for a free initial consultation. We can evaluate the facts surrounding your case and help determine if you can recover compensation for your damages suffered.