Summary: Personal injury cases happen when someone is injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness or mistake. This includes, for example, car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, defamation, and more and can result in life-altering injuries like spinal cord injuries, head and brain trauma, workplace accidents, broken bones, and others.
Ninety-two percent of tort cases are filed with personal injury as the primary cause of harm. Tort law refers to harm caused by civil wrongs as opposed to criminal wrongdoings. Although criminal wrongdoing can also give rise to civil actions and recovery.
If you or a loved one has been affected by an injury, you know that it’s more than terminology and statistics. It’s your life and you a need qualified and experienced professional to help you make it right.
If you’ve been injured in an incident and you suspect someone else is at fault, you might be wondering if it qualifies as a personal injury case.
What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?
Here’s what you need to know:
Any physical, bodily or mental injury can be considered a “personal injury.” This can an injury from the tip of your toe to the top of your head.
The question really is, have you been injured because of someone else’s actions? If so, they may be legally responsible. If you’ve been injured because of your own actions, you may not have a case. Are you unsure who is at fault? A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you decide.
Injury cases essentially require that you suffer a physical or mental injury as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, whether they intended to harm you or simply were negligent, weren’t paying attention or weren’t following the rules.
What are the most common kinds of personal injury cases?
A major injury can have life-altering ramifications. From these and other cases, the specific common injuries that occur can include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Emotional injuries
- Joint and limb injuries
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
- Bone and muscle injuries
When Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
So when does a personal injury incident become a personal injury case? While there are a lot of specifics that go into determining a personal injury lawsuit, the answer lies in one word: negligence.
To have a personal injury case, you need to be able to prove that the other party acted “negligently” or worse. Negligent conduct is that which violates the standards that a reasonably prudent person would observe. When someone acts carelessly and their actions result in an injury of another person, this can qualify as negligence, and the careless person would be legally liable for resulting harm.
What does it take to prove negligence? To win a personal injury negligence case, the injured party has to prove four elements to show that the defendant was negligent:
- Duty: The defendant had a legal duty to the injured person. This could be through their relationship (like a doctor and a patient) or through the expectation that the defendant would act with reasonable care.
- Breach: The defendant failed to meet their legal duty by not acting in some way.
- Causation: The breach of duty by the defendant caused the incident that led to an injury.
- Damages: The injured person was hurt because of the defendant’s actions.
Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. This means that you have a limited timeframe in which you can file a lawsuit. This often begins when you discover the injury. In this time, it’s your responsibility to find a credible personal injury attorney and file the suit. If you don’t file within the statutory period, your case may be thrown out of court.
The statute of limitations is set by state law. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for most personal injury types is one year. It is longer for most car accidents and can be extended by a number of exceptions which can extend it for years longer. The best advice is to seek legal counsel quickly if you believe you have been injured by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In choosing that counsel, be careful to make the right choice.
Is There Any Other Basis for a Personal Injury Suit Besides Negligence?
Is negligence the only time that you are eligible to file a personal injury suit? The short answer is no.
There are some situations where you may have a case even if it does not fit the strict definition of negligence. Here’s what you need to know:
- If you can establish strict liability, you may still have a personal injury suit. Strict liability holds designers and manufacturers accountable for defective products; they are strictly liable for your injuries.
In the case of strict liability, you as the injured person do not have to establish the negligence of the manufacturer, simply that the product was designed or made in a way that was unreasonably dangerous when used as intended.
Another example: dog owners are strictly liable for their dog biting or injuring someone.
- Another exception is for intentional wrongdoings. This refers to a purposeful act, even done in jest, that causes personal harm. These are somewhat rare, but it can include someone hitting you—even as a joke. Or if a store detective wrongfully detains you as a suspect of shoplifting, there may be a case for wrongful imprisonment.
Some intentional wrongdoings may also be considered for criminal charges, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help you choose the right path to get the most help to recover from your injuries. In this instance, the tort case would be totally separate from a criminal case brought on by the government.
Get Help from Compassionate, Qualified Personal Injury Attorneys
When you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury suit, you need someone on your side to advocate for your needs.
At McCoy & Sparks, our experienced team of attorneys will be attentive proponents of your needs. We will fight for fair compensation to help you heal from your injuries so you can finally move forward with your life.
You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here to help. Call (844) 4KY-WINS, or contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Trust McCoy & Sparks—Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Nelson County
Recognized as Nelson County’s best law firm for over a decade and counting, McCoy & Sparks works to help people in trouble, representing thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results.
Regardless of the type of case, our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draws upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions.
You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.