What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Bill Allen | January 20, 2022 | Personal Injury
A personal injury claim arises out of the legal duties imposed by the law on everyone. These duties protect everyone from exposure to an unreasonable risk of injury or death.
When a person or business violates these duties, the injured person may be able to claim damages to compensate them for their losses. If the injured person dies, the person’s heirs or estate may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Here is some background on what constitutes a personal injury claim and the damages that could be available.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Lawyers divide personal injury claims into three broad categories based on the duties imposed on the person or business at fault.
Everyone has a duty to exercise reasonable care to safeguard others from injuries. When someone violates this duty, they have acted negligently. Most injury claims arise from negligence.
Negligence consists of the following four elements:
Some duties fall on everyone. For example, everyone must refrain from throwing objects off a pedestrian bridge that could cause a car accident below.
Other duties fall on specific people. Drivers must exercise reasonable care while driving. Doctors must provide reasonable medical care. Property owners and tenants must take reasonable steps to safeguard the safety of guests on their property.
Even if a court has never seen an injury claim like yours, it can apply negligence to determine a party’s liability.
Some injury claims don’t require you to prove negligence. In some cases, you only have prove that you sustained an injury due to something under the defendant’s ownership or control.
Common strict liability claims include the following:
Florida law imposes strict liability on dog owners for unprovoked attacks by their dogs.
As a strict liability claim, it does not require that you prove the owner was negligent. Thus, you can sue for a dog bite even if the dog owner tried to restrain the dog or prevent the attack.
Similarly, you can sue even if the dog owner had no reason to believe the dog would attack. Florida does not give dog owners a “free bite.” Instead, dog owners are liable for every bite.
When a manufacturer releases a defective product into the stream of commerce, it bears liability for any injuries.
As a strict liability claim, defective product claims do not require proof that manufacturer released the product recklessly or negligently.
Instead, you can prove a product liability claim by showing that the product was defective and you suffered an injury due to the defect.
Everyone has a duty to refrain from intentionally harming others.
Some examples of intentional torts include the following:
- False imprisonment
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
To recover compensation for an intentional tort, you and your injury lawyer must prove the person or business intended to perform the harmful action.
For example, to win an assault claim, you must prove that the person intentionally did something that placed you in reasonable fear of imminent harm. Thus, a person who drives directly at you in a road rage incident intended to perform the action to cause you to fear.
An intentional tort differs from a crime. Typically, criminal punishment will include a combination of imprisonment, a fine, community service, probation, and restitution.
By contrast, when you win or settle an injury claim for an intentional tort, the at-fault party must pay damages to you.
Damages You Can Recover in an Injury Claim
Injury claims compensate you for your losses. These losses include your economic losses from your injury, like medical bills, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Losses may also include non-economic losses like pain, suffering, lost sleep, fear, and a diminished quality of life. Consequently, an injury claim provides critical financial resources as you recover from your injuries.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have two convenient locations in North Central Florida:
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471