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4 Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is made when another party causes injury through negligence. A successful personal injury claim depends on many elements, not just that you were injured. Legally, you have to prove four things to show that you should be awarded a settlement. The other party’s insurance company will try to show that you don’t deserve compensation. Understanding the four elements of a personal injury case can help you be prepared to discuss your claim with a personal injury lawyer.

Duty of Care

The duty of care refers to the legal or moral obligation of one party to another concerning safety and well-being. A truck driver has a responsibility to other drivers on the road to operate their vehicle safely. If the truck runs a red light and hits another vehicle, that driver failed to fulfill its duty of care. A business can have a duty of care to its customers. The business must operate in a safe manner to prevent accidents.  

Breach of the Duty of Care

To prove your personal injury claim, you not only need to show that the other party had a duty of care, you need to show that the party breached that duty. This means you have to show that the party didn’t act reasonably under the circumstances. In medical malpractice claims, to prove this element, you would need to show that another doctor would have acted differently.

Causation of the Injuries

Third, you need to show that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. In some cases, this is a fairly easy step. You were injured in an accident where the driver was intoxicated. The driver had a duty of care, simply by driving. This driver was negligent and breached that duty by driving under the influence. When the driver hit your car, you were injured. Other cases may not seem so cut and dried. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that aggravated your arthritis, the other party could try to show that it was your arthritis that caused your injuries, not the fall.

Damages in the Injury

Finally, a successful personal injury case includes compensation for injuries. This can include your actual economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages, but it also can include non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. If you don’t have damages, you may not have a personal injury claim.

Make an appointment to discuss your claim with a lawyer.