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What Makes an ‘Accident’ a Personal Injury Case?

  • By: Starr Law Offices
  • Published: May 12, 2016
What Makes an ‘Accident’ a Personal Injury Case?

Photo Disclaimer: Models depicted are not employees or members of the law firm. Photos are dramatizations and not actual events; these are actors, not clients or professionals.

A personal injury case occurs when someone other than the injured party is responsible for the injury. There are times when the fault is straightforward and clear-cut, such as when an impaired motorist runs a red light and strikes a pedestrian who is legally crossing a street. This was not an accident; it was due to the driver’s carelessness. In such an incident, there should be no doubt that the driver (or his insurance company) will have to pay for the injury he caused. Unfortunately, the at-fault party and his or her insurer will attempt to sow doubt about who is responsible (and what they’re responsible for) in order to minimize his or her own financial obligation.

Often the level of responsibility assigned to the other party in an incident must be determined by the courts. The first step in this process is an investigation by your legal counsel to enable the courts to assess the actions (or lack of thereof) underlying the incident itself, be it a motor accident, a bicycle accident, a slip-and-fall accident, a wrongful death claim, or another type of personal injury case.

Personal Injury – the Result of Some Action

Sometimes, a personal injury occurs as a result of another person’s action, but there was no direct interaction between the person who caused the mishap and the victim of the injury. This is when someone creates or exacerbates a situation that leads to another person getting hurt. This could take the form of mopping a hard tile floor and then leaving a slippery wet residue with no warning signage. If someone slips and falls and is injured, that incident can easily give rise to legal proceedings.

By and large, if someone creates or contributes to an unsafe environment and somebody gets hurt, it may be necessary to turn to the courts to assess the guilty, at-fault party’s level of responsibility so that the innocent injured party gets properly compensated for his or her pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and so forth.

Personal Injury – the Result of Some Inaction

Personal injury liability doesn’t necessarily require that someone did anything. Fault can also be assigned because of what he or she didn’t do. This is called failure to take “reasonable care.” By way of example, say there is a rotted plank on a restaurant’s deck and management knows about it (or should know about it). However, they do nothing. When a restaurant patron steps through the bad plank and gets hurt as a result, the restaurant should be responsible for the injury. They failed to fix an obvious defect. In another example, if a dog owner fails to restrain his pet, he is responsible for the dog’s bad behavior when it bites someone. Failing to take reasonable care puts people at risk and could lead to personal injuries that result in legal claims.

When It Comes to Personal Injury, Getting Legal Help Quickly is Essential

When situations or circumstances arise – either through some action or inaction – that cause personal injury, take action quickly. If this happens to you, don’t second-guess yourself; get legal help! Make sure to document what happened as quickly as possible—take photographs and collect contact information of witnesses, then call us at 727-578-5030. At Starr Law Offices, we offer a free consultation to help you start this process and answer your questions. Our goal with personal injury claims is to thoroughly investigate the injury so that you can bring your case to a resolution. There’s never any fee for our services unless there’s a recovery.

Life places plenty of hurdles in front of us … so if you’re the victim of an incident that causes a personal injury as the result of someone else’s carelessness, get the legal help you need. We’re here to help you move forward.

Starr Law Offices

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