If you sustained injuries as a result of an accident due to someone else’s reckless, negligent, or intentional actions, you may decide to pursue a personal injury claim. Before you do, however, you should contact a Vancouver personal injury lawyer to determine whether your case meets the required elements in a personal injury case.
The elements for a personal injury case may differ depending on the basis of your claim. Thus, a Vancouver personal injury lawyer will review the facts to determine whether your claim is based on negligence, intentional torts or strict liability.
Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable damage or injury to another.
1. Duty of Care
In order for someone to be negligent, that person must owe you a duty of care. For example:
- Motorists have a duty to other motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle.
- Those in control and possession of a property, including owners, have a duty to licensee and invitees to maintain a reasonably safe environment and/or provide adequate warnings against dangerous conditions on the property.
- Manufacturers owes a duty to make products reasonable safe for consumers and/or provide adequate warnings against inherent dangers.
2. Breach of Duty
When a person owes you a duty of care, but acts carelessly, recklessly or contrary to what a reasonably prudent person would do under the circumstances, that person breached his duty of care and acted negligently.
An intentional tort is an act is considered “intentional” when a person purposely causes harm or has knowledge that the act would cause you harm. The person’s conduct or knowledge is based off of what a “reasonable person” would do or knew. Examples include:
- Firing a gun into a crowd.
- Hitting someone with your fist or with a weapon like a bat or bottle.
- Person playing a practical joke by pulling a chair from under someone about to sit down.
The law imputes liability, generally if something is inherently dangerous, without regard to fault. Thus, a Vancouver personal injury lawyer must only prove that the tort occurred and the defendant was responsible. Examples include:
- Manufacturers are strictly liable for harm caused by their defective products.
- Pet owners are strictly liable for harm caused by exotic pets (i.e. tigers) or domestic pets that are known to be violent (i.e. dog previously bit someone currently bit you).
- General contracts are strictly liable for their subcontractors’ mistakes if the general contractor failed to confirm or knew that the subcontractor did not maintain proper insurance.
Irrespective of the basis for your personal injury claim, you must prove that the act (accident) caused your injury. Unlike intentional torts, in negligence and most strict liability cases, you must show that the defendant’s conduct directly or reasonably caused your injury.
Lastly, there must be some sort of injury or harm, which can be physical, mental, emotional, financial or property damage. If the defendant’s action did not cause you any damage, then there is nothing for you to recover.
Seek a Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer
Consult a tenacious Vancouver personal injury lawyer with The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff at (360) 693-2919 regarding your potential personal injury claim.