The personal injury law empowers an individual to claim compensation for the injury or suffering caused by the negligence of another person. To have a successful claim of personal injury, the claimant has to prove a duty of care owed by the defendant to the claimant, a breach of duty of care, and an injury caused to the claimant due to the breach of duty of care. For example, a motorist owes a duty of care to safely operate the vehicle. If the motorist drives recklessly and causes injury to another person, then it will constitute a breach of duty of care and the injured person will be entitled to claim damages from the motorist.
The duty of care refers to a reasonable behavior expected from a reasonable person in the given circumstances. The purpose of the duty of care is to promote reasonable behavior and prevent reckless behavior which may cause harm to another person. To prove a duty of care, the relationship of the claimant and the defendant is taken into consideration. If the defendant can reasonably foresee an injury that may be caused to the claimant due to the negligence of the defendant, then the defendant owes a duty of care. Therefore, the claimant in a personal injury claim has to establish a duty of care with the defendant.
In a personal injury claim, the claimant may claim for actual bodily harm or psychiatric damages. In the former, the injury is generally apparent and easy to recognize. However, the standard of proof is slightly higher in cases of psychiatric damages. To have a successful claim of nervous shock or psychiatric damages, the claimant has to prove a medically recognized mental illness and present a report of an authorized medical practitioner to substantiate their claim. If the claimant is simply upset or shocked by the negligent act of the defendant, then it is not a valid claim.
In cases of personal injury, the claimant seeks damages. If the court is satisfied that the essential elements of the law are satisfied then the court may order the defendant to pay compensation to the claimant. The compensation may vary from case to, however, in the majority of cases, the compensation covers medical bills and other necessary expenses incurred by the plaintiff for the loss caused. In personal injury claims, the majority of the claims are settled outside the court and very few cases are decided by the court. Evidence indicates that 95 % of the personal injury claims are settled outside the courtrooms and the parties mutually decide the matter. If the parties disagree and fail to reach any settlement then only they approach the court of law.
To have a successful claim of personal injury, the claimant has to prove the essential elements and it can be a lengthy and complex process. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the matter with an attorney. The assistance of an attorney is not only beneficial in a court of law but it can be of great assistance to reach an out-of-court settlement. Therefore, it is highly recommended to take the assistance of an attorney to make your claim of personal injury successful.