Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

Published: November 8, 2018

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case? We all know individuals who suffer sudden injuries that completely alter the normal course of their lives. Maybe we just heard it on the news. Perhaps the person is a close friend. What if that person is you? What if you are going about your normal day and someone's actions suddenly, negatively change your life? In this blog, we will help you understand what to do when you are involved in a personal injury case.

According to the law, we must all live our lives in such a manner that we do not cause injury, intentional or carelessly, to other persons. This basic requirement is a principle of ethics that is understood by society. In short, it is our duty to conduct ourselves in a manner that will not harm others.

What happens when someone doesn't adhere to this basic rule and causes harm to another person? Accidents happen every day; but when that accident is caused by an individual's careless or intentional actions, it is a breach of duty and a possible personal injury case. As an example, if you clumsily trip and fall, you likely don't have a case. However, if you trip over a garden hose stretched across a public sidewalk, you may have a case.

The law focuses on the proximate cause of the person's injury. The case must pass the "but for" test. Would the accident have happened without the negligence present? In other words, but for the presence of the garden hose, would you have tripped and fell?

Let's back up for a moment. The purpose of a personal injury case is to compensate the victim for damages suffered like medical bills and lost wages. It isn't a get rich scheme. To bring a case to court, you must prove damages. If you stumbled over the garden hose and got up and brushed yourself off with no ill effects, you have not suffered damages. Yes, someone was negligent in placing the hose where they did, but that, in itself, does not constitute a personal injury case.

We're not asking you to navigate the law, that's our job. If you believe someone's negligence has caused your damages, give us a call. Vanderpool Law will walk you through the details and help you determine if you have a case.

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