Accident and injury claims fall under personal injury. These claims can arise out of a wide range of incidents and causes including auto accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, work-related accidents and illnesses, and much more. The laws governing accident and injury claims vary from state to state. Federal and/or local laws may also apply in your case. A local personal injury attorney can tell you if you have a good case, what you can expect, and help you protect your legal rights and ultimately obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries.
The majority of accident and injury claims are based on negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise the reasonable level of care that most people would use in the same situation. To prove negligence you do not need to prove that the wrongdoing was intentional, just careless. The theory of negligence is based on the idea that all human beings have a basic duty to try not to put other people in harm’s way. An accident and injury claims attorney can help you determine if you have a viable claim.
Strict liability is the theory of law used to establish liability in most defective products cases, and certain other types of cases. Under strict liability you must prove that a product or activity which caused your injury was inherently dangerous, even if all of the proper safety measures were followed. You do not have to prove negligence.
An intentional tort is the result of intentional wrongdoing. The harm itself does not have to be intentional, but the act that caused the harm does. For instance, a violent assault can result in injuries that are far more serious than the perpetrator intended, and can include wrongful death.
A gross disregard for the safety of others can constitute intentional wrongdoing, even in cases where no harm was intended. In some states DUI constitutes intentional wrongdoing even though most people who choose to drink and drive do so in the hopes that they will get lucky and not wind up in an accident or get behind the wheel when they are so obliterated that they are no longer aware of the risk.
Standard of Proof
Accident and injury lawsuits are civil, rather than criminal, actions. Since they do not put the defendant in jeopardy of losing life or liberty, civil cases require a lower standard of proof to win.
Most people are familiar with “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” required in criminal cases. In a civil case the legal standard is merely a “preponderance of the evidence”, meaning more likely than not, or in some cases the somewhat stricter “clear and convincing evidence” meaning highly probable.