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Personal Injury Claims

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Typically, most personal injury claims arise from automobile accidents. These claims fall under the heading of tort law. The person bringing the lawsuit must prove that two major elements have occurred. These two elements are a "fault" state and "damages." While some states have "no fault" accident laws, in general, injured parties have recourse to the courts for damages they incurred.

Personal Injury Claims and Negligence

In an automobile injury case, the defendant must be shown to have failed to exercise reasonable care while driving, and that negligence must have resulted in clear damages to the injured party in order for there to be any chance of winning a monetary award for personal injury. Negligence, however, goes far beyond automobile accidents. In fact, while accidents are the most common cause for these cases, medical malpractice is not far behind.

When it comes to personal injuries resulting from defective products, the injured party does not have to prove the negligence of the manufacturer or designer. Instead, the claimant must simply prove that the design of the product made that item unreasonably dangerous even when it was used as intended. If the claimant suffered damages as a result, the courts will often decree a monetary award to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Personal Injury Claims for Intentional Wrongs

Sometimes, perfectly innocent shoppers are detained in a store and subjected to a search on the suspicion of shoplifting. Since the action by the store personnel was actually intentional, even if unwarranted, the person who was detained can sue for damages. As a result of the O.J. Simpson case, many people now know that, if someone has been suspected or convicted of committing a criminal offense that caused damages to another person, that person may be sued in civil court as well as prosecuted in criminal court. When considering lodging personal injury claims, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney who will know the scope of the laws in a specific state.

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