What Are Three Common Elements Occurring In Every Personal Injury Negligence Case ?
Every personal injury negligence-based claim that I have handled over the course of 25 years has had three common elements that I would believe- by definition- occur in every personal injury claim in the history of negligence lawsuits.
As an initial matter- there must have been an accident. If there was no accident, there is no case- at least not a negligence claim.
The law defines accidents in subtly varying ways depending on the context. An accident is generally considered to be an event, out of the ordinary, unusual and unexpected. In the context of a personal injury case, the accident must have been caused by the fault of another responsible party to be actionable [i.e. to support a claim.] If there is no fault of any human agency, there is no case. If the circumstances that caused the injury are intentional, that is to say that someone intended that another person be hurt, that inured person possesses a different type of claim. This would be not one based on negligence, but more likely on principles of assault or battery.
I’ve sent this on countless times and it bears repeating. There is no such thing as a personal injury case without someone having sustained an objectively verifiable injury. Maryland law, at least in the arena of negligence, does not recognize the concept that someone could have been hurt, or might have been hurt, but were not, and were somehow damaged by the mental torture of what might have been. It is only where someone suffers direct, palpable, objective injury through the fault of another-of any degree from significant to slight-that the law provides a remedy.
Every personal injury claim ever raised has a resolution, an outcome or an endpoint. Some claims are dropped because of a lack of evidence, proof or a real or perceived inability to carry the case forward. Unfortunately, sometimes participants or witnesses pass away. The more common outcome, though, is a settlement. I Attorney Eric T. Kirk have not seen any recent statistics on this, but for many years now individuals who keep track of such things have noted that the overwhelming majority of cases settle at some point. Whether that is before the filing of a lawsuit, after a lawsuit has been filed, through a mediation conference, or court-ordered settlement conference or as a result of negotiation between the parties with or without the benefit of the Court’s assistance, the reality is most cases settle Those cases that don’t settle go to trial. There really are only two outcomes here- a plaintiff verdict or defense verdict.