Posts tagged with "multi-vehicle accident"

These are the three elements of a personal injury lawsuit

If you don’t have these three things, you don’t have a case

Personal injury litigation is a complex subject and we never expect clients to come in knowing what all of their rights are. We’re always ready to listen to someone about their experience and let them know if they have a case or not.

Every case needs to have the following chain of three things: Liability, causation and damages. If it misses one, a lawsuit is not possible. For an example, imagine a person became violently ill after eating food at an expensive vacation resort.

The three elements of a personal injury case

Liability is the first step. Did the the defendant, or defendants, act carelessly that allowed the accident to occur. For this example, did the resort staff serve undercooked or spoiled food? Can we prove that they did?

If we can prove liability, we move on to the next step: Causation. Did the negligent behavior from the defendant cause the accident or injury? It’s not enough that the plaintiff was staying at the resort and ate the food, can we show that it was the resort’s food that made them sick, and not something else? If not, the lawsuit won’t happen.

Once we have causality established, we then have to show that the plaintiff suffered real damages. Did the victim require expensive medical treatment, miss work, or suffer excruciating pain? Did the foodborne illness cause a permanent injury or disfigurement?

It’s not enough to say the patient was in danger, they must have had real damages to be compensated through the lawsuit. You can’t sue for what could have happened, it needs to have caused them to directly suffer harm.. Without liability, causation and damages, no personal injury case can proceed.

A tragedy in Boston gives us an important lesson

This weekend brought a terrible tragedy to Boston. A young woman operating a moped was struck and killed by a so-called Duck Boat. Events like this should make everyone take a moment to try and appreciate how precious life is.  And if you’re a parent, like me, that feeling is heightened.

None of us truly knows what tomorrow holds, and the stark truth of that statement is brought into focus when an accident like this occurs. Most mistakes that take place on a day in, day out basis have no consequences, thank God. But every once in a while a mistake has catastrophic consequence. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. It’s hard to even conceive of receiving such a phone call.

After representing families who have endured similar fates, I can tell you that the responsible parties need to be held accountable. When you hear about an accident such as this, most people’s immediate reaction is to merely blame the operator of the vehicle that struck the victim. It’s been our experience, however, that someone needs to look deeper to find all responsible parties.

Truth be told, you can never really tell at the outset where the investigation will lead, but the need to drill down is there. Does the company skimp on safety; are their employees properly trained; was the vehicle in proper working order; are undue expectations placed on the drivers to meet schedules or deadlines, etc. It is as true as it is tragic to recognize that no law suit can ever bring a life back  But thoroughly and aggressively investigating each detail will almost always bring about change that may save another’s life.