Whenever an accident occurs, the victim has a right to pursue compensation. Known as a personal injury claim, this includes injuries sustained during an auto accident, truck accident, construction site accident, dog bite or attack, and many other preventable types of accidents. However, an accident alone is not enough to pursue a personal injury claim. Negligence, and all of its elements, must also be present. How do you determine if it was a factor in your injury? The following information can help you decide.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is defined as reckless or otherwise careless behavior that could cause injury to another person. It is a critical element in nearly all personal injury cases, and it encompasses four basic elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Furthermore, a victim must be able to provide proof of these elements in their case.
There are two basic types of duty in negligence claims: general “duty of care” and “special duty.” General duty of care is expected of all people, and in nearly all circumstances. It is the expectation that an individual will conduct themselves in a reasonable manner. Special duty is slightly different because it is imposed by statute or case laws that exist in addition to, apart from, or in replacement of duty of care. However, it is still based upon the expectation of reasonable actions in a given circumstance.
Breach of Duty
Once it is determined that a party had a duty to act in a reasonable or responsible manner, it must then be decided if the individual acted in breach of that duty. Essentially, this means that the party acted in a way that violated the reasonable duty of care. For example, all drivers are expected to pay attention to their surroundings. Texting while driving is a breach of that duty.
Breach of duty and negligence are not enough to support a claim on their own. A victim must also experience injuries because of the negligent person’s actions. The extent of those injuries can vary greatly and may include everything from concussions or whiplash to spinal injuries or even death.
Once duty, breach of duty, and causation are ruled as elements in a personal injury case, the victim must then show harm to be compensated for their injuries. This might come in the form of medical expenses, lost time from work, a need for lifelong treatment, or other types of expenses related to the injury.
Get Experienced Legal Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims are complex matters that require experience, knowledge, and vast resources to effectively pursue. Our Appleton, Wisconsin personal injury attorneys can offer these elements in your personal injury case, and we will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. Discuss your unique situation with Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. to learn more. Call 920-739-7366 and schedule a free initial consultation today.