Personal injury cases are civil lawsuits under the umbrella of negligence claims and are classified under tort actions. The definition of tort is a legal wrong. In this area of law, the lawsuit is focused on applying the elements to identifying whether the defendant’s actions or inactions meet the legal definition of wrong. Since these lawsuits are civil cases, the parties are generally private citizens or entities. More so, typical damages sought in these types of lawsuits are monetary. As with any legal proceeding, these type of lawsuits has numerous legal considerations and factors that affects the validity and success of either winning or defending the case. Some of the legal considerations in the following lawsuits under the personal injury cases are as follows.
Medical malpractice injuries can be complex, and it’s important to understand the basics before you attempt to file a personal injury claim relating to malpractice.
Who Are The Parties To A Medical Malpractice Case?
Depending on the nature of the medical malpractice claim and the state’s rules that have jurisdiction over the lawsuit, cases are filed by the patient against the medical doctor. Often the hospital or clinic that employs the doctor or surgeon is included as a party to the lawsuit. Typically, the medical professional’s insurance is a party to the case.
However, in medical device defects or malfunction cases, the patient would not file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or surgeon who has used the said product on them. Instead, it would be appropriate for the patient to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the medical tool. It is important to note that the rules of product liability law may also govern this type of lawsuit.
What Are the Elements Of A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are identified to belong under the negligence lawsuits umbrella. Thus, these types of claims generally follow the following elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages or harm. Specifically applied to medical malpractice lawsuits, the following elements must be proven by the claimant in court:
- The doctor has a duty to the patient. This element is not limited to showing that the doctor-patient relationship is current. Instead, this element needs to show that the doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the cause of action.
- The doctor has breached their duty to the patient.
- The doctor has committed a negligent action or inaction that has directly caused the patient to get injured or harmed.
- The patient has incurred monetary damages that were directly attributed to the injuries that were caused by the doctor’s negligent action or inaction.
Are There Defenses To A Medical Malpractice Claims?
Yes, defenses may be available to a respondent to a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the applicability or limitation to any defenses depends on the state’s rules that have jurisdiction over the case.
Some of the defenses that may be available to a defendant of a medical malpractice case may include, but are not limited to:
- The cause of action was beyond the statute of limitation rules of the state to bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitation rule is set by each state and is applied by the court with jurisdiction over the case.
- Another defense that is subject to an individual state’s rule is the applicability of comparative or contributory negligence. This refers to the victim’s responsibility for their injuries. Depending on the state’s laws on which doctrine they apply to their cases, a victim may be barred from pursuing compensation claims against the defendant or could have their claim lessened based on the percentage of their contribution to their injuries.
- Another defense available to the defendant of a medical malpractice claim is the “good samaritan law.” This rule absolves a doctor, or any other medical professional, from liability if they voluntarily come to the aid of someone in need. However, this protection is available provided that the medical professional acted and provided the standard duty of care and treatment any reasonably competent medical professional would provide in the same situation.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are considered one of the most common personal injury claims. That said, if you’re ever involved in a car accident, it’s important to understand the nuances.
Who Are the Parties to a Car Accident Case?
Generally, the parties to a motor vehicle accident lawsuit involve the individuals directly affected by the accident. These parties could be the other motorist or a pedestrian. More so, the insurance carriers of the motorists involved in the car accident are also parties to a motor vehicle accident lawsuit.
What Are the Elements of a Car Accident Claim?
Car accident lawsuits are identified to belong under the negligence lawsuits umbrella. Thus, these types of claims generally follow the following elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages or harm. Specifically applied to car accident lawsuits, the following elements must be proven by the claimant in court:
- The defendant driver has a duty to the victim driver or pedestrian.
- The defendant driver has breached their duty to the victim driver or pedestrian.
- The defendant driver’s negligent action or inaction has directly caused the victim driver or pedestrian their injuries.
- The victim driver or pedestrian has incurred damages or injuries.
Are There Defenses to a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Yes, there are defenses available to the defendant of a car accident case.
Defenses may be available to a defendant in a car accident lawsuit depending on the state that has jurisdiction over the case. Some of the possible defenses to a motor accident claim are as follows:
- The incident was beyond the statute of limitation rules of the state to bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitation rule is mandated by each state and is applied by the court that has jurisdiction over the case.
- Another potential defense in a car accident case is whether the claimant has contributed to their own injuries. Depending on whether contributory or comparative negligence is applied by the state that has jurisdiction over the case, a claimant’s own actions that contributed to their injuries may either bar their claim against the other party or lessen the amount of compensation they would be allowed to claim on the lawsuit.
- Failure to mitigate damages is another defense that may be available to a defendant in a car accident lawsuit. Under this defense, a victim may bar or reduce the compensation they could be entitled to in a case if they manage to worsen the injuries they have incurred in the car accident. This defense’s applicability depends on the state that has jurisdiction over the claim.
- Other possible defenses to a defendant in a car accident lawsuit may depend on procedural errors by the other party. Some of the instances that apply to this type of defense may include but are not limited to the following:
- A) The other party or their lawyer has failed to adequately state a valid claim.
- B) The other party or their lawyer missed a question in a required form.
- C) the other party or their lawyer filled out the wrong forum.
- D) the other party of their lawyer filed a poorly drafted pleading that did not communicate all the elements expected by the court.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Now, slip and falls are another type of personal injury. If you’re a victim of slip and fall accidents and want to file a personal injury claim, you should understand the basic aspects before finding a personal injury lawyer.
Who Are the Parties to a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
A slip and fall lawsuit is typically between the property owner and the victim. However, this depends on the nature of the claim and the circumstances of the case. Generally, the victim could be either a licensee or invitee. In certain situations, a trespasser may have a cause of action for a slip and fall lawsuit against a property owner.
What Are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim?
Since slip and fall claims are classified under negligence lawsuits, they generally follow the following elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages or harm. Specifically applied to slip and fall claims, the following elements must be proved by the claimant in court:
- The property owner owes a duty to either warn the victim or fix the hazard in the property to prevent harm to the victim.
- The victim could show that they have suffered harm or incurred damages that could directly be linked to the hazardous condition of the owner’s property.
- The property owner knew or should have reasonably known of the dangerous conditions on their property.
- The property owner could have anticipated that the condition of their property would have hurt or potentially hurt their invitees or licensees.
Are There Defenses to a Slip and Fall Case?
Yes, defenses may be available to the sued party in a slip and fall case. However, the availability and applicability of these defenses depend on the facts of the state’s rules that have jurisdiction over the lawsuit. Some of the defenses that may apply to a slip and fall case are as follows:
- The property’s danger is open and obvious to all parties.
- The property owner lacks notice of the danger on their property. Specifically, the property owner lacks both actual and constructive notice of the hazards on the premises.
- The victim has assumed risks of harm on the property.
- The victim is a trespasser, and the type of property does not subject any liability to the property owner for the harm incurred by trespassers.
- The slip and fall claim has passed the statute of limitation imposed by the state that has jurisdiction over the potential lawsuit.
- A victim has contributed to the injuries they have incurred, and such contribution is above the allowed contributory or comparative negligence rules imposed by the state that has jurisdiction over the potential claim.
The topics listed and discussed above are general in nature and are subject to limitations and application by each state law. It is vital to the validity and success of each claim or defense for these lawsuits to seek the legal advice and representation of a personal injury attorney licensed in the state that has jurisdiction over the case.
Final Remarks: The Legal Perspect Of Personal Injuries
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation through filing a personal injury claim. However, before you can determine what type of claim to file, it’s important to know the different types of injury claims available to you. You will then have the necessary information to file your claim and protect your legal rights and interests as soon as possible.