If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence and suffer injuries, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and any damages suffered. Personal injury cases often arise from car accidents, slip and fall injuries, dog bites, bicycle/motorcycle accidents and nursing home abuse cases. Any time someone else’s negligence is a direct cause of an injury, an injury victim has the legal right to pursue damages. Understanding how you can establish a strong personal injury case will help you determine your next steps and how best to move forward with your legal claim.
Personal Injury Law 101
While your attorney will be better able to explain how your specific circumstance can result in compensation for your injuries, every personal injury case must meet the following elements of negligence:
- Duty: The defendant (people or business who caused the injury) has to be determined to owe a duty of care to the plaintiff (injured person). For example, vehicle drivers owe other motorists the duty to follow the laws while driving their cars.
- Breach of duty: If a duty was owed to the plaintiff and the defendant did not fulfill their duty, then they will be found to have breached it. For instance, semi-truck drivers are generally held to a higher standard of care when driving their trucks. If they are negligent and fell below the standard of care, i.e. driving while distracted or sleepy, they have breached their duty of care.
- Causation: The injury suffered by the victim must be a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
- Damages: This includes physical injuries, medical bills, lost income, mental/emotional distress, pain, and suffering as a result of that breach of duty.
While this is only a brief overview of personal injury law, essentially one person has a responsibility to act or behave in a certain way, and when that person acts recklessly, negligently, or carelessly and an injury occurs, he or she must be held responsible for that injury or for any damages suffered. For example, drivers have a duty to other motorists and passengers to obey traffic signals, not speed, and not drink and drive. If they breach that duty and cause injuries, they will be held liable. Additionally, store owners are required to make sure their property is free from hazardous conditions upon which customers could slip and fall. Nursing homes have a duty and obligation to ensure that all residents receive proper care. Doctors have a duty to ensure that their patients all receive treatment according to established medical standards of care. Any breach of those duties can lead to liability and responsibility for damages or injuries.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the deadline in which you must file a claim for personal injury in a court of law. The statute of limitations in Missouri is typically five (5) years after the injury, and the statute of limitations in Kansas is only two (2) years. There are exceptions to these rules however, and visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine how long you have to file your personal injury case.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered any kind of injury or damages due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to receive compensation. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you build a strong personal injury case in Kansas and Missouri, and help receive the compensation you deserve.