Dallas Injury Attorney Michael Grossman Discusses What Makes a “Personal Injury”
I’ve often been asked “Just what IS personal injury?” A personal injury occurs when a person is injured through the fault of another. Personal injuries can be caused by either negligent acts, like a car accident, or intentional acts. Personal injuries in Texas are very common, but can also be complex to litigate. Grossman Law Offices, with it principal office in Dallas, Texas, has over two decades of experience with personal injury cases, and has helped many clients determine their rights.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is one of the most common types of personal injury claims. In order for a claim of negligence to arise, a person must act below what is considered a reasonable standard of care under Texas law. Then, if their actions or failure to act results in injury to another, they can be held liable for said injury due to their negligence.
An example of a negligence claim is a car accident. For instance, if a person crashes into someone else because they were sending a text message on their phone, then they have breached their duty to act as a reasonable and prudent driver. If the victim of the car accident suffered a broken leg as a result of the crash and is able to prove that the driver was the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the injury, then the driver would be liable to the victim’s losses. However, some parts of a negligence analysis can require more evidence to prove (like proximate cause).
Proximate cause is different from cause in fact because it is smaller in scope. It is not difficult to prove that an act was the cause-in-fact of an injury, but proximate cause works by limiting whether an act legally caused an injury. Proximate cause is mainly a foreseeability analysis. In order for an act to be the proximate cause of an injury, the injury must be a foreseeable consequence of the action.
For instance, in the example above it is foreseeable that texting while driving can lead to a car accident, and it is foreseeable that a car accident can lead to certain injuries, like a broken leg. In this example, the person who is texting while driving would be the proximate cause of the victim’s broken leg.
What is Gross Negligence?
A personal injury claim can rise to the level of gross negligence if a person acts in a way that recklessly or willfully disregards the safety of others. It is more severe than ordinary negligence, which is a mere failure to meet the reasonable standard of care.
For example, if you are riding a ride at an amusement park and you fall out and hurt yourself because the operator negligently strapped you in, you will likely only have a claim for ordinary negligence. However, if the operator knew that the safety harness of the ride could break at any time and still let on the ride and you fell out and injured yourself, this might rise to the level of gross negligence.
What is Strict Liability?
Strict liability is a legal theory that arises when an injury is caused by another who engaged in certain activities, but did not intentionally or negligently cause the injury. Strict liability usually happens in products liability cases, like prescription drug cases, or cases where the actor is engaged in an ultrahazardous activity, like blasting or demolition.
An example of this is where a company is engaged in the demolition of a building, and despite the company taking every precaution; someone is injured as a result of the destruction of the building. The company would be strictly liable to the injured person because it was engaged in an ultrahazardous activity.
What is an Intentional Tort?
An intentional tort is an act that is intended to cause harm to another. An example of an intentional tort is a battery. A battery is where the defendant intentionally causes the harmful or offensive contact to another. For example, if a person walks up to a man and punches him in the face because he doesn’t like the hat he is wearing, he could be liable for the intentional tort of battery. Intentional torts are different from negligence and strict liability personal injury claims because they involve an intentional act on the part of the defendant.
You Need An Experienced Attorney To Help You Determine Liability in Your Personal Injury Claim
Although common, personal injury claims in Dallas can be very complex. You deserve a skilled and experienced attorney to help you determine who is liable for your injuries.
The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have helped thousands of Texas clients with their personal injury claims. They have aided their clients in determining their rights under the law, and receiving the compensation that they deserve. If you have been injured by the actions of another, call one of our Dallas attorneys for a free consultation regarding your personal injury claim at 1-855-326-0000.