Despite our best efforts to make safe choices and stay aware of our surroundings, accidents happen every day, and some of them have serious consequences that last for weeks, months, or even years afterward. Fortunately, if you recently were involved in an accident caused by another individual’s poor choices or lack of awareness, you may be able to hold them financially accountable for any consequences you suffer as a result.
The process of filing a civil lawsuit is rife with procedural requirements and possible roadblocks, and trying to navigate those obstacles without help from a local attorney is never a good idea. Instead of fighting for your rights alone, consider working with a Perth Amboy personal injury lawyer who has the experience, expertise, and tenacity to effectively pursue the financial recovery you deserve.
Just as there are many types of accidents that could conceivably change a victim’s life, there are many ways in which people can recklessly or carelessly cause those accidents. In legal terms, irresponsible behavior leading to harmful accidents is known as “negligence,” and proving civil defendants “negligent” is generally how experienced Perth Amboy personal injury attorneys hold those parties liable for ensuing losses.
There are four components to legal negligence that must be proven in order for a plaintiff to seek financial recovery from the defendant in their personal injury claim. First, the defendant must have had some kind of implicit or explicit obligation to avoid causing harm to the plaintiff. This “duty of care” can take many forms depending on the circumstances—for example, motor vehicle drivers are expected to follow traffic laws and pay attention to their surroundings, while property owners and occupiers must make their property reasonably safe for those invited to enter the property.
Second and third, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant violated their legal duty even if unintentionally, and that this “breach” caused the accident the case is about. Finally, the plaintiff must show that the damages he or she is seeking compensation for stemmed directly from the accident in question.
Although objective, “economic” losses like medical expenses, personal property damage, and missed work wages often form the elements of a personal injury claim, they are not the only type of damages that may be available to an injured plaintiff. In many cases, civil defendants can be liable for subjective, “non-economic” damages as well, including not just physical pain but emotional suffering, impairment, disability, and the loss of enjoyment of life. The value of these injuries and losses is often much more than the “economic” losses.
However, comprehensive recovery in a civil claim often requires plaintiffs to prove both that the defendant was at fault for their injuries and that they themselves were not. As a personal injury lawyer in Perth Amboy could explain in more detail, “comparative negligence” by a plaintiff could lead to a reduction in their final damage award proportionate to their percentage of fault, or even to them being barred from recovery completely if they are found primarily to blame for their own damages.
Even if it seems obvious who is at fault for you getting hurt in an accident, proving fault in civil court or even during private settlement negotiations can be immensely complex. You may have to provide significant evidence not only that another party is directly to blame for your injuries, but also that you did not do anything reckless or careless yourself that may have caused or exacerbated your damages.
In both respects, representation from a Perth Amboy personal injury lawyer could be essential to getting the best possible result from your case. Call today to speak with a nearby attorney about your unique situation.