Liability is based on fault in a Tahlequah personal injury case. This means that an individual will not be required to compensate you for injuries you have sustained in an accident unless that person is at fault to some degree.
Fault in a Tahlequah personal injury case is based on negligence or intent. Someone is at fault only if they acted negligently or with the intent to do you harm.
Negligence In A Tahlequah Personal Injury Case
Most personal injury accidents are the result of another’s negligence towards you and are usually not precipitated intentionally.
Negligence can be defined as a breach of a person’s duty to behave in a certain manner towards others.
In general, people are required to act in a reasonably prudent manner towards others. So, negligence, at its essence, is the failure to behave in a reasonably prudent manner towards others.
To establish negligence in a Tahlequah personal injury case, four elements must be present:
As explained above, the person you hold responsible for the accident (the defendant) must have had some duty to behave in a prudent manner towards you.
For example, motorists have a duty to drive their vehicles in a reasonably prudent manner in which to avoid accidents and injury to other motorists and pedestrians.
The defendant must have breached his or her duty to behave in prudent manner towards you. Driving recklessly or disobeying traffic signals is a clear breach of the duty motorists have to operate their vehicles in a prudent manner.
The defendant’s breach of duty must be the proximate cause of the accident in which you were injured. In other words, there must be a clear line of causation between the defendant’s breach of duty and your injuries.
For example, if a motorist runs a stop sign and hits your car, and because of the impact you suffer whiplash, then there is clearly causation between that motorist’s breach of duty and your injuries. However, you cannot be compensated for injuries that are unrelated to the defendant hitting your car.
Causation is often a complicated issue because, in many cases, an accident is the result of a variety of different factors. Therefore, causation often falls upon a jury to decide.
Finally, in order for negligence to be established, you must have suffered some damages, tangible or intangible.
Damages include economic losses such medical bills, lost wages, and damage to personal property as well as the non-economic impact an accident may have on your life, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost quality of life, scarring, disfigurement, etc. A Tahlequah attorney can help calculate damages.
If you have suffered no damages, you have no personal injury case, period. Thus, along with breach of duty, this is one of the most important elements of any Tahlequah personal injury case. If you can convince a jury that the defendant breached their duty towards you and you have suffered damages, that person may be held liable to compensate you for injuries and losses.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Personal Injury Lawyer
For a free consultation with a Tahlequah personal injury lawyer, call 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.