The careless action or inaction of an individual, business or even government that causes personal injury can be grounds for a lawsuit based on negligence and forms the basis for personal injury law. These civil suits are not for deliberate harmful behaviors, but for situations in which responsible parties failed to protect others. Situations of negligent behavior can be found in accidents, discrimination, abuse, malpractice, product liability, personal injury and wrongful death.
Talk with a Personal Injury Lawyer Immediately!!
In the event of experiencing one of these occurrences, it is essential that the injured person not sign away the right to seek legal compensation before talking with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer. Frequently, the insurance agent for the responsible party will be the first visitor to the hospital, armed with paperwork releasing his client from responsibility and damages. Refusing to sign until adequate assessment and legal counsel is obtained is absolutely necessary for fair settlement later.
To win a personal injury case based on negligence, the plaintiff (injured person) must prove four things:
1) The defendant (person being sued) had a “duty of care” or a responsibility to protect those using his product, on his premises, in the line of contact or in some other way connected.
2) The defendant failed to exercise the responsibility of due care and thereby neglected or “breached” this duty.
3) Because of the defendant’s failure to be responsible the plaintiff has been physically and/or emotionally injured.
4) The injury experienced by the plaintiff has caused monetary damages that may include medical bills, assisted living care, special accommodations and loss of previous wage earning ability.
The most frequent personal injury cases caused by negligent behavior involve car accidents, dog bites, and slip and fall accidents. Other grounds for legal action include product liability, asbestos exposure causing mesothelioma, and medical malpractice in the areas of brain and birth injuries. Because of the long term effects of damage to the brain medical expense and loss of income may be far reaching. Birthing injuries such as cerebral palsy, shoulder dislocation, broken collarbone or being infected with Group-B Strep can vary from temporary damage to lifetime conditions to wrongful death.
Because laws vary from state to state, it is important that legal counsel be obtained as quickly as possible after the personal injury occurs. Most law firms will offer a free first consultation to see if, in fact, cause exists for pursuing a case against the responsible party. To assist in the process a close family member or friend of the injured person should keep diligent and exact records of the events of the injury. This includes names, dates, places, conversations and any relevant paper work. Additionally, photos or videos are extremely valuable. Such documentation is necessary to prove that negligence has occurred and injury resulted.
A negligence attorney will also want to see the attending physician’s documented description of the personal injuries, the level and extent of incapacitation, present and predicted health care expenses, and a professional opinion about how much this situation has affected the former wage earning abilities. As citizens of this country Americans have the right to hold accountable those who injure them by careless, irresponsible behavior. A personal injury lawyer can assure that this right is protected and when necessary, called into action.