What Is Considered to Be a Personal Injury?

Posted by Phineas Gray on July, 2017

If you have been harmed by another person’s negligence, you may be wondering if your injury counts as a personal injury. Berkeley personal injury attorneys get asked this question repeatedly by people who have been harmed by others. A personal injury is an injury to a person’s mind, body, or emotions. While a physical injury usually accompanies the other injuries, it is not necessary to establish a personal injury claim. You may be able to recover from the person who caused this harm if the harm was caused by the negligent, careless, reckless, or willful acts of the wrongdoer. This wrongdoer may also be called the tortfeasor, as personal injury law is a type of tort law. Personal injuries include obvious causes of harm, such as: dog bites; car or truck accidents; defective products; wrongful death; medical malpractice; drug or vaccine injuries; and willful actions including assault or elderly abuse. You may sue on your own behalf, but you may also sue because of injuries to a loved one via the wrongful death suit.

To establish a personal injury claim, you need to fulfill four elements. First, you must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff. The duty of care is not as difficult to establish as you might think it is; we all have the duty of reasonable care to others, even with no other established relationship. Where a professional or other statutorily significant relationship exists between the parties, the standard of care may be more specific. For example, a doctor has a duty to exercise a professional level of care towards her patients. Second, you must establish that the defendant breached that standard of care. The question becomes would a reasonable person in the same position as the defendant have behaved in the same manner as the defendant? You do not have to show that the defendant violated a written law or statute to show that she breached the standard of care; however, if there was an applicable statute and the defendant violated it, the violation can be used to help demonstrate a breach of care. hird, you must show that the breach of the duty was a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Fourth, you must demonstrate that the injuries resulted in damages to the plaintiff. Damages in this context usually mean a financial harm, because the factfinder will be trying to determine what type of monetary award can be used to make a plaintiff “whole” after the injury.

To find out more about personal injuries, you can schedule a consultation with Berkeley personal injury attorneys to discuss your injury and whether it qualifies for a personal injury claim.

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