Grounds for Personal Injury Claims
Do you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit?
Personal injury accidents happen in a variety of different ways and places. It is not uncommon for the injured victim to be uncertain whether they actually have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim since the area of personal injury law can be vague and ambiguous. The circumstances surrounding each accident vary widely and so does the extent of the victim's injuries. Because of the many variables associated with personal injury accidents, it is important to understand how negligent behavior is defined and how to determine liability, especially when you believe you have been wrongfully injured due to the reckless or negligent actions of another party.
Personal injury is a legal term that refers to injuries to the body, minor or emotions versus injuries to property. The term is used in conjunction with a tort lawsuit where the plaintiff's injury was directly caused by the negligence of another. Negligence is the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised given the same set of circumstances. Therefore, personal injury claims hinge on the theory of negligence and harm caused by carelessness, not intentional harm. In order to collect compensation it will be necessary to prove that another person's negligent actions contributed to your injuries, and you will have to show that they engaged in such behaviors that lead to the proximate cause of your injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
There are a number of different situations that are covered under personal injury law and depending on the relationship between the victim and the liable party, proving wrongdoing will be handled in one or more ways. For instance, if the victim was a patient that was misdiagnosed by their physician, it will be necessary to prove that their doctor failed to uphold their duty of care and that their actions lead to prescribing the patient the wrong medications (dangerous drug interaction or allergic reaction etc.), or a wrong-site surgery, or the misdiagnoses caused the condition to progress to an advanced stage or some other serious consequence from the medical error; it will be necessary to prove there were actual damages sustained by the patient.
If a small child is viciously attacked by a friend's dog while visiting their home, then the property owner would be considered liable and a claim could be filed against the family's homeowner's insurance carrier. If the victim was involved in an auto accident, then it will become necessary to prove that the other driver was in violation of a traffic law such as speeding, or running a red light, or texting while driving, or that they failed to yield at a stop sign or they were
drunk driving or otherwise engaging in negligent activity behind the wheel. Determining who is liable for an injury will be dependent on the facts surrounding the case, and all relevant contributing factors will also be taken into consideration.
Comparative Negligence in Missouri
The state of Missouri uses the comparative negligence system. Under comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover compensation even if they were partially at fault for their injuries. However, they would recover a percentage of the original amount based on the diminished percentage for which a jury deems that to be at fault. For example, if the jury found the plaintiff to be 50% responsible for the accident, they can still receive 50% of the original award for damages.
If you are not sure if whether or not someone else is accountable in whole or in part for your injuries, then it is vitally important that you contact a Columbia personal injury attorney from The Sumner Law Group, LLC as soon as possible. We have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury claims and upon meeting with you, we will be able to accurately determine whether or not you have solid grounds to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, and if so, we want to make sure your claim is filed within Missouri's statute of limitations. Contact us today!