Sometimes accidents or wrongdoings occur that result in harm to another. Personal injury law, a part of civil law, works to provide monetary compensation to those who have been injured by another. There may be one or more parties injured or responsible for the harm. A plaintiff, who is the individual harmed, may be able to sue all parties to recover the full amount owed to them. If a defendant wants to place all the blame on another defendant, they may file a lawsuit as a cross-defendant.
Burden of Proof
Unlike criminal law, in which the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof for civil law is lower. Because of this, an individual who may not have been found guilty under criminal charges may be found guilty in a personal injury suit. While criminal law strives to punish the individual for their wrongdoing, personal injury is more concerned with monetary compensation, though punitive damages may still be awarded in certain cases; generally to those where the defendant’s conduct was considered malicious.
Such conduct includes:
- Intentional torts, such as assault
- Unintentional torts, such as negligence
- Strict liability, including product liability
Common cases include things such as negligent acts, malpractice, premises liability, pedestrian accidents, product liability and defective product cases, and slip and falls.
In most states, an individual who wishes to bring a claim of negligence must prove the following:
- Duty of care
- Breach of that duty of care
- Actual Causation
- Proximate Causation
Duty to Act Reasonably
Each of us has the duty to act reasonably in any situation to prevent risk of foreseeable harm. It could be something such as choosing not to drive under the influence, fixing a broken step that sees frequent foot traffic, or warning customers of a dangerous condition on property. If too many events occur between the defendant’s breach and the plaintiff’s injury, the plaintiff’s conduct may not be considered as the proximate cause of the damage.
A plaintiff may be able to recover for both economic and non-economic compensatory damages. Such economic damages may include future medical bills, past, present, and future loss of wages, out-of-pocket expenses, vocational rehabilitation, loss of consortium, household help, and pain and suffering. Alternatively, non-economic compensatory damages may include compensation for pain and suffering. Certain states prevent you from being able to recover more than a certain amount of non-economic damages.
Media Personal Injury Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Those Injured in All Types of Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it can impact your ability to work, maintain your finances, and have a severe affect on your physical and emotional health. Our knowledgeable and experienced Media personal injury lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will fight for you and your rights. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 today. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients from Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.