The medical bills, lost wages, and other costs of an unanticipated injury can add up fast. If you were injured through the fault of another party, it may be possible to obtain compensation for the resulting damages by bringing a personal injury claim.
There are several bases on which a personal injury claim can be brought. Most are brought on the basis of negligence, which is one party’s breach of the duty of care owed to another party. Others are brought on the basis of intentional wrongdoing while still others are brought on the basis of strict liability, which means a finding of fault is not needed to impose liability.
In this article, we have outlined the elements that must be proven to win a negligence claim:
1. The At-Fault Party Owed You a Duty of Care
To establish negligence, you must be able to prove that the liable party owed you a duty of care. This is a legal obligation to exercise a reasonable level of care.
The duty of care can be either established or implied. For example, visiting a doctor in a clinical setting establishes a duty of care; the doctor owes you a duty to use the most widely accepted standards of care during diagnosis and treatment. By getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, on the other hand, you assume an implied duty of care to everyone on the road around you.
2. The At-Fault Party Breached the Duty of Care
As previously mentioned, negligence is one party’s breach of the duty of care owed to another party. Negligence can take countless forms. Common examples include:
- A driver who speeds or operates a vehicle while under the influence,
- A pharmacist who dispenses the wrong drug or dosage, or
- A business owner who fails to clean up a spilled liquid within a reasonable period of time.
3. You Incurred Damages
In the state of Michigan, the following damages may be recoverable in a personal injury claim:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Other economic damages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Scarring and disfigurement,
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of enjoyment in life.
If you were hurt in a car accident, it’s important to note that you cannot pursue medical costs and other economic damages in a third-party liability insurance claim unless your economic damages exceed your own PIP coverage limits. Additionally, you will not be able to collect pain and suffering damages unless the case involves permanent serious disfigurement, serious impairment of a body function, or wrongful death.
4. Your Damages Were Caused by the Breach of Duty
You must prove that the damages you are claiming were caused by the tort. Proving causation might pose a challenge if you had a preexisting medical condition that was exacerbated in the accident.
Speak with a Detroit Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were hurt through no fault of your own, contact Seva Law Firm. We combine the resources and experience of a large practice with the personal touch of a small law firm. Call (248) 385-5704 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Detroit.