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Elements of a Personal Injury Case

Elements of a Personal Injury Case

Personal injury lawsuits are a type of civil legal action victims can bring after they have suffered harm and losses due to the negligence of others. When successful, a personal injury case can hold at-fault parties accountable for their carelessness and allow victims to secure financial compensation for their damages – including their past and future medical expenses, lost work income, and pain and suffering. Because these cases involve complex issues of law and liability, which can be made increasingly difficult when defendants or the insurance companies handling their claims fight to pay as little as possible, working with experienced attorneys is critical.

At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers focus our practice on protecting the rights of injured victims. For the past 40+ years, we have handled cases involving a range of accidents, injuries, and issues – from car accidents and trucking wrecks to defective products that cause consumers harm. Although every case is unique – and the strategies we have used to help our clients succeed different – there are some general elements inherent to all personal injury cases. These include:

  • A defendant owed the victim a legal duty – For any personal injury claim to have merit, the defendant alleged to have harmed another must have owed a legal duty to the victim. For example, at-fault drivers can be held liable for injuries they cause in car accidents because all motorists have a legal obligation to safely operate their vehicles. Medical professionals also have a legal duty to treat patients in accordance to accepted standards of medicine, provided there exists a doctor-patient relationship – you can’t hold a doctor accountable when you follow advice you overheard them giving to another patient.
  • The legal duty was breached – If there is a legal duty present, victims have the ability to hold at-fault parties accountable for failing to uphold that duty. However, they must show – through a presentation of evidence and arguments – how a defendant failed to uphold their legal obligations (or “breached” their duty). A breach of duty can exist in many different ways, depending on the circumstances involved, but generally arises from negligence (in most cases) or willful acts of wrongdoing. A motorist who drives under the influence and causes a drunk driving accident, for example, can be said to have breached their legal duty because any responsible individual knows alcohol impairs their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and substantially increases the risk of a crash.
  • Causation – Proving that a legal duty existed between a defendant and a victim and illustrating how it was breached is only part of a successful personal injury claim. In order to prevail, victims and their attorneys must demonstrate causation, meaning they must show a defendant’s negligent, careless, or wrongful actions more likely than not caused their accident and injuries. “More likely than not,” or by a preponderance of the evidence, is the legal burden in civil lawsuits – and it is the burden that falls upon the victim (plaintiff) in personal injury cases. Proving causation may be as straightforward as proving that a driver was intoxicated by alcohol at the time of a crash (and / or that they violated a traffic law), or be a challenging matter that requires meticulous investigation, accident reconstruction, and diligent legal work – especially when defendants raise disputes.
  • Victims’ Damages – There is simply no personal injury case if victims did not suffer actual damages. If a victim would have been injured in a vehicle collision that was narrowly avoided, for example, they can’t sue the at-fault driver for financial compensation. For any case to be valid, victims must have suffered damages in some way. Typically, these damages relate to their physical injuries, which can create considerable pain and suffering and mental anguish, as well as financial losses caused by having to pay for medical treatment or losing income as a result of missing work. Accounting for the full scope of a victim’s damages is critical to recovering the full amount of compensation they need and deserve.

With more than half a billion dollars in compensation recovered for clients, our legal team at Biren Law Group has shown that we have the experience, resources, and commitment needed to make the difference for victims and families when it matters most. By placing your trust in our award-winning lawyers, you can gain the support of advocates who focus exclusively on cases involving personal injury and battles with insurance companies, and who have gained the insight needed to handle all types of accidents and injuries.

To share your possible personal injury case, learn more about your rights, and discuss how our firm can handle the legal issues of proving all essential elements of a successful claim, contact us for a FREE consultation.

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