A personal injury is an injury caused by negligence. It could be an action, inaction, or the malicious intent of another person. For example, you could be injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver; you could slip and fall at a hotel swimming pool; or you could be burned by a defective kitchen appliance. There are numerous ways that you can suffer a personal injury caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence.
The courts recognize your right to file a lawsuit to recover financial damages from defendants who caused your injury. Defendants can include vehicle drivers, insurance companies, employers, manufacturers, property owners, medical personnel, animal owners, and a whole host of others.
To show negligence on the part of the defendant, your attorney will have to prove:
In a nutshell, this means that your Hazard personal injury lawyer will have to prove that the defendant 1) had a duty to ensure your safety, 2) breached this duty by acting recklessly or failing to act, 3) caused you actual harm, and 4) caused you to suffer damages and financial setbacks as a result.
Steps Personal Injury Lawyers in Hazard, KY, Take to Prove the Elements of the Case
Personal injury lawyers in Hazard, KY, must prove the defendant had an obligation and a duty to keep the plaintiff safe. The lawyers will also need to show that the defendant breached this duty and that the plaintiff was injured as a direct result of this breach. Plaintiffs must be able to show all four of these elements, listed below in detail, to win a personal injury case in Kentucky.
Duty: The first step in proving a personal injury case is to show that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff. This means that the defendant is obligated to keep the plaintiff safe from harm. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and not cause accidents. Property owners have a duty to maintain their property and make sure it is safe for visitors.
Breach of Duty: Once the plaintiff has shown that the defendant had a duty to them, they must then show that the defendant breached this duty. This means that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have under the same circumstances. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits another car, they have breached their duty to operate their vehicle safely. If a property owner fails to shovel their sidewalk after a winter storm, they have breached their duty to maintain their property.
Causation: The third step in proving a personal injury case is causation. The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused their injuries. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits another car, causing that car to crash into a tree, the driver is directly responsible for the injuries of the people in the car which struck the tree.
Damages: The fourth and final step in proving a personal injury case is the damages. This means that the plaintiff must show that they suffered some loss as a result of the defendant’s actions. This could be physical, emotional, or financial losses. For example, suppose a driver runs a red light and hits another car, causing that car to crash into a tree. In that case, the driver who ran the light is responsible for the damages sustained by the driver of the second car, which could include repairs to the car, medical bills, and lost wages.
Personal injury lawyers in Hazard, KY, use these four elements to prove their case and get their clients the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney in Hazard today to discuss your case. If the attorney cannot prove the four elements and loses in court, the plaintiff usually does not have to pay the attorney anything.
However, if the attorney wins the case, a percentage comes out of the settlement to pay the attorney.
Causes Of Personal Injuries in Hazard
A Hazard Personal Injury Attorney Explains Different Ways You Can Be Harmed.
Slip & Fall
Shoppers, tourists, and pedestrians can slip, trip and fall in stores, hotels, concert venues, and elsewhere, sustaining serious injuries. Slip and fall accidents are also common at swimming pools, in parking garages, and on sidewalks.
Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents
Kentucky roadways are the site of thousands of car crashes and motor vehicle accidents each year, often resulting in injuries and even death. Vehicle crashes can be caused by distracted or impaired drivers, inclement weather, or roadway debris.
Laborers can get injured at the worksite due to broken machinery, defective equipment, poor safety precautions, wobbly scaffolding, or other unsafe practices.
Premises liability comes into play when a visitor to another person’s home, business or property is injured due to an obvious hazard or dangerous condition. A property owner and/or operator has a duty of care to ensure that visitors are safe.
Product manufacturers can be held liable if a toy, appliance, or other product has a design or manufacturing defect that inflicts harm on unsuspecting consumers.
If a loved one dies in a car accident, as a result of abuse at a nursing home, or due to a severe fall or other accident, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.
Other Types of Personal Injury Claims
There are many other types of personal injury claims, including dog bites and animal attacks, abuse and neglect cases, boating and watercraft accidents, burn injuries, asbestos exposure, poisoning and other catastrophic injuries.
Common Accident Injuries
Many severe personal injuries can result from slips and falls, work injuries, and vehicle crashes in Hazard. Some common injuries include:
- TBI and brain injury
- Broken bones
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Cuts, abrasions, and puncture wounds
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims in Hazard
Because all personal injury cases are different, it’s best to talk to a knowledgeable injury lawyer in Hazard as soon as possible in order to protect your rights. Every case has a statute of limitations, which is the legal term for how long a victim has to file a lawsuit after the accident or injury has occurred. Once the time period ends, you can no longer file a claim. In most personal injury cases, the deadline is one year from the time of your injury. The Kentucky civil statutes of limitation are detailed in KRS Chapter 413: Limitation of Actions.
These statutes tend to be strictly applied by the courts, and a few days can make all the difference in whether a claim is heard or dismissed. There are many factors that may affect which statute of limitations is applicable, and there are numerous exceptions. If you are uncertain whether you still have time to file a claim, talk to a Hazard personal injury lawyer for more information.
Contact Billy Johnson Law Firm Today
If you’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident, you don’t have to go it alone. Let a skilled and experienced Hazard personal injury lawyer fight for the compensation you deserve. At Billy Johnson Law Firm, we are committed to getting you justice! To find out about how we can help, call us at 606-437-4488.
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