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Personal Injury FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

Personal Injury

A:

Personal injury matters involve both intentional and negligent acts done by third parties for which you are a victim and which result in physical or financial harm to you. Acts by third parties which cause you harm are typically referred to as TORTS. In order to recover money for personal injury cases, you must establish both LIABILITY (responsibility) and DAMAGES (financial losses and/or pain and suffering). An injured party must establish LIABILITY before they could recover DAMAGES. Without establishing LIABILITY there are no DAMAGES as a result of the act. There are many instances where a person suffers an injury, but there would be no liability. A common example is when a tresspassser is injured on someone else’s property.INTENTIONAL TORTS: The most common types are:

Q:

Trespass

A:

Trespass is the unprivileged, unauthorized or unconsented to entrance onto and damaging property owned or occupied by another person. The property could be in a natural condition, such as a park or wild landscape, or improved with dwellings or buildings. You could be prohibited from entering the land altogether or you could exceed the scope of your invitation, i.e. entering onto property after closing time or going around or over a fence meant to limit access; any of which would constitute a trespass. Trespass is a physical invasion of property, which means that it could manifest itself an many forms. A person walking onto another’s property, throwing something onto another’s property or causing some phsyical force to invade the property (fire, or toxic gas) are common examples.

Q:

Assault and Battery

A:

Assault is usually a precurser to a Battery and is defined as the intentional causing of fear and apprehension that a person will commit a battery on you. For example, if someone were to lunge at you with a closed fist looking as if they are going to strike you, it would cause you to be fearful that you will by struck by that person. You must be aware that this act is occuring for it to be legally actionable. If you didn’t see it, it didn’t legally happen. Battery is defined as any harmful or offensive touching to the person. It can be as minimal as touching a persons arm, if you found that to be offensive. However battery usually occurs with the actual striking of the body in a more violent manner.

Q:

False Imprisonment

A:

In order to claim false imprisonment, your freedom to move about must be inhibited or restrained against your will and which restraint is done without privilege or consent. It can be by physical force or by blocking your exit.

Q:

Defamation

A:

If a person makes an untrue statement about you to a third party who understands and believes the statement and which statement has an adverse impact on your reputation, you may have a cause of action. Some statements are prvileged and therefore not actionable, i.e. statements to a police officer or witness statements in court are common examples. The statement may be verbal (slander), or written (libel) and must be published; spoken to another person or making a written statement available for third parties to read.

Q:

Negligence

A:

Negligence is a legal theory based on the premise that all persons are charged with the responsibility of acting as a reasonable person would in a similar circumstance, also know in legal terms as a DUTY. For example, all drivers of vehicles are charged with obeying traffic laws; a reasonable driver will not speed, drive through red lights or stops signs, drive under the influence…etc. Doing so would constitute a BREACH of your duty if it leads to harming another person or busniess. The failure to exercise reasonable or ordinary care in one’s daily activities and which failure of care leads directly to physical or financial harm to another is known as CAUSATION and may result in liability to the person suffering the harm. The harmful effects resulting from the failure to exercise reasonable or ordinary care is commonly referred to as “DAMAGES.” Damages can be in the form of physical and/or emotional injury, property damage, financial damage or any combination thereof.