Most Personal Injury Claims End Up Settling Before Trial
Fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case
There is a misunderstanding in the general public regarding legal matters that someone can sue just about anyone and win, no matter what; that there is always someone to blame. For example, there is a popular video on YouTube which shows a young person doing some spirited driving in a BMW M3 on a mountainous road. He ends up driving off the road, and crashing into several small boulders.
If you read the YouTube comments and comments shared on various car blogs and forums, it becomes apparent that many ‘lawsuit doomsayers’ are chiming in with the opinion that he’ll be able to sue someone, such as the company that constructed the road. While we can’t comment on that particular incident, we can say that this is a concept not supported by reality. The truth is that not every injury can or will result in a personal injury case. In this article, we’ll explain what circumstances must transpire in order to make a valid personal injury claim.
Requirements to Bring a Personal Injury Claim
To bring a personal injury claim against another party or parties, an injury must have been sustained. You cannot bring a claim for a near miss. The technical phrase that the law uses is that you must have incurred damages. If you think about it, this is a very prudent requirement.
The purpose of a lawsuit is to reach the best possible outcome for what is an unfortunate situation. It is an attempt to rectify what has been made wrong due to some party or parties’ negligence. In the event that what could have been a tragic accident is diverted then no one has been wronged and there is no need to seek restitution, and that is, by far, the best outcome. As stated, lawsuits are an attempt to make things right again.
All Claims Must be Sanctioned by Law
Even though there may be a wide variety of theories you can use as the foundation of your claim, you need a theory supported by law or there will be no solid basis for the claim and the judge will throw the suit out. There are general, common law legal principles that you can use as the basis with which to file a personal injury claim, and there are some claims that are sanctioned by a specific statute and impose certain limitations or requirements in order for the claim to be valid. Knowing the differences and how to act upon them determines if your case will stand a chance of being successful or not.
Your relationship to the defendant is a determining factor as to what kind of duty they owe you. An act that results in injury is, from the perspective of the law, meaningless in and of itself. It has to have context to make sense, and that context is what allows you to bring a claim. For instance, you fell down a flight of stairs and broke your arm because one of the steps was improperly constructed. If you were a licensee (meaning you were visiting the property for the benefit of the property owner) then you would have standing to bring a claim against them. However, if you were a trespasser, you would not.
The concept at work here, is what we call a duty of care. If a party owes you some duty of care and they breach that duty, then you may have the right to bring a claim against them. However, if they owe you no such duty, irrespective of how badly you were injured, you have no grounds for a claim. As for the case of the youth in our video: Did the road contribute to his accident? Of course it did. It looks like he crested over an undulation in the road, resulting in the loss of control that led to the crash. The shape of the road was an element of the incident. But the real question is, did the designer of the road owe the driver any duty to have constructed the road in a different fashion? By my estimation, the answer is no. The road seems suitably safe for lawful and conscientious driving. It does not have to be made safe for the kind of driving this youth was undertaking.
I am not trying to pick on the driver in the video. In fact, I am relieved that no one appeared to be injured from the incident. I am merely using this example to underscore the fact that you can’t create a lawsuit for just anything as the internet at large seems to suggest. There are conditions that must be met before a claim can be brought against those responsible.
Knowing the difference and what constitutes a good claim can be a complex process. Having the right legal team on your side can make all the difference. If you would like more information, please call 1-855-257-1111.