Personal injury accidents occur all the time under a wide variety of circumstances. Although most people envision a car accident when they hear the term “personal injury accident”, there are actually a number of other common types of accidents and injuries that fall under the purview of personal injury accidents. Only an experienced Michigan personal injury accident attorney can review the specific details of your accident and tell you if you can make a personal injury claim; however, a basic understanding of personal injury law may help you decide if you should consult an attorney.
Personal injury law is part of the larger area of the law known as “torts”. “Torts” addresses injuries to people or property. Within the area of personal injury you will find car accidents along with other types of accidents including, but not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bite accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Trucking accidents
To make a valid personal injury claim you must prove that the defendant’s wrongful conduct caused your injuries. Wrongful conduct can be the result of intentional or negligent conduct or can be based on strict liability.
Intentional conduct, as the name implies, occurs when the defendant intended to injure you. For example, if you were an innocent bystander in a bar when a fight broke out and the defendant physically assaulted you that conduct could qualify as intentional conduct. While the defendant might also be charged with a criminal offense, you could file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the defendant for compensation based on the injuries you suffered.
Strict liability is a product of statute. Many states, for example, have laws that make the owner of a dog strictly liable for injuries caused if the dog bites someone. When a defendant is strictly liable it does not matter what the defendant’s state of mind was nor does it matter if the defendant took steps to try and prevent the harm. All that matters is that the harm occurred and the defendant is responsible.
Most personal injury claims are based on negligence. Negligence requires the defendant to have owed you a legal duty of care first. The defendant must then have breached that duty of care, causing you to be injured. A motorist driving on a public road, for instance, owes a duty of care to everyone else on the roadway. If the defendant is texting while driving, he has breached that duty of care. If that breach causes an accident and you are injured in the accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation.
Consult with an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney to determine if your specific situation qualifies as a valid personal injury lawsuit case.
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