Personal injury matters typically involve injuries from car accidents, slip and falls, and medical practice, but can include nursing home bedsores, nursing home abuse, unsafe premises injuries, and wrongful death claims.
Personal injury law stems from tort law. As a result, negligence plays a significant role in personal injury law claims.
Tort Laws and Personal Injury Cases
A tort occurs when one person’s behavior or failure to behave results in another person’s harm. Tort laws allow injured individuals to seek monetary compensation from the ones that that harmed them. They covers most cases involving private individuals (civil cases). Their goal is to make injured individuals whole and to discourage others from acting similarly.
Tort laws cover a range of legal doctrines. Those specifically involving personal injuries consider such harms nondeliberate. In other words, the laws believe the individual who caused the injuries acted unintentionally. If, however, the injured person can prove that the individual acted negligently, they can recover financial compensation.
In North Carolina personal injury matters, common or judicial laws govern negligence. To prove negligence, the injured party must:
- Demonstrate that the individual who harmed them had a duty of care.
- Illustrate how the individual violated that duty.
- Show how the violation caused their injury.
- Explain how the individual should have realized that their actions or inactions would cause their harm.
- Prove actual damages (medical costs, lost income, pain, and suffering),
A duty to care refers to an individual’s obligation to prevent harm to others and relies on the “reasonable person” standard, which looks at how other ordinary, reasonable people would act under the same circumstances. Proof relies on a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which considers if claims are more likely to be true than untrue.
Using a basic example, a driver goes through a stop sign and then strikes a pedestrian with their vehicle. The pedestrian sets forth the following:
- The driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and refrain from harming pedestrians and other individuals;
- When the driver ran through the stop sign, they violated traffic law;
- The driver should have known that going through the stop sign, violating the traffic law, and striking the pedestrian would cause harm; and,
- The pedestrian would use medical bills and records to prove their damages.
Again, this is an extremely basic example. A real case usually involves deeper legal analyses. Each case has also unique facts, the individual causing the injury will most likely counter and raise defenses, and, as usual, other legal concepts apply, including contributory negligence, which can reduce or even prevent injured parties from recouping monies if a judge or jury deems them responsible for their injuries in any way.
If someone’s negligence injured you or someone about who you care, you need an experienced, dedicated attorney to properly present your claim. Thomas D. Baumgardner has the skills and background you need. He’s won various personal injury matters, including complex cases and those that have gone onto the state supreme court. He passionately pursues justice and compensation for his clients. Contact him at 704-887-4981 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the legal services he provides and to book an appointment.