The 4 Elements of a Personal Injury (Tort) Claim

Personal Injury Claim

Whenever someone is injured in an accident, one of the first questions they ask is, do they have a case? Well, that depends on a variety of factors, but when it comes to personal injury claims it typically boils down to four: (1) duty, (2) causation, (3) breach and (4) damages. See, personal injury claims are similar to contract cases in which you and the defendant enter into a public agreement, which both of you have sworn to uphold by using public roadways or spaces. Therefore, to determine if you have a case against another party, you must have proof of the above four elements.

1. Duty

Duty refers to the legal responsibility of a defendant to the plaintiff. In terms of an auto collision, an individual enters into a public agreement when they secure their license to obey traffic laws and to drive with care, preventing physical injury to others.

2. Causation

Causation means that you must show that the defendant is responsible for your damages. Using the car accident example, you need to confirm that your injuries and losses were a result of the accident. Therefore, you will need to compile receipts and medical records before filing a claim and ensure that these documents show how the accident resulted in your damages.

3. Breach

However, proving duty and causation is not enough to make a claim against someone else. You need to prove that the individual was in breach of the public trust. In other words, you need to demonstrate negligence and liability. To do this, you will probably need a copy of the official crash report and its findings. Most accident investigations are used to determine fault.

4. Damages

Last, you will need to compile a list of damages that you are seeking restitution for. These losses should show how you suffered monetarily and possibly emotionally from the trauma of the accident. For instance, you can make a claim to recover any medical expenses and lost wages. However, you can also seek losses for pain and suffering, which are less concrete and possibly harder to prove. The specific injuries you claim can be discussed with your attorney, who should help you determine if there is enough to pursue the claim.

Being injured as a result of someone’s negligence is a frustrating thing, but frustration is not the same as building a case for recovery. Therefore, before you file any claim, hire the best personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia and make sure that your evidence proves duty, causation, breach and damages.

Thanks to Wieand Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and elements of a claim.