Ever hear the old saying “my right to punch you ends where your face begins’? This truth forms the basis of personal injury law, and the rules that govern how liability is fixed. When you are involved in an accident, it is important to examine the cause of the incident and any injuries. We all owe a certain level of care to others as we go about our daily routines. This is referred to as a legal duty, and in personal injury cases the most common cause of an accident is the negligence of another.
The legal definition of negligence is the failure to exercise the same level of care an ordinary person in similar circumstances would exercise. Some examples include:
- Failing to pay full attention to your driving, such as in the instance of a driver who is distracted by an electronic device or simply not paying attention to road and traffic signals.
- The failure to do something you would otherwise be required to do, such as the requirement that you maintain a certain distance between other vehicles when driving.
If you have been involved in an accident due to the negligent acts of another, you are entitled to be compensated for your damages. Damages include lost wages, the cost of medical care, damages to your property (and the cost to repair it), pain and suffering, and any other damage that was caused by the negligent act. To recover these damages though, you must prove the other party was negligent. Once negligent behavior is established you also have to show that your injuries were the direct result of the negligence. It is also crucial, in Minnesota, to establish a percentage of fault for the accident. This is referred to as comparative fault and what it means is that if you contributed to the accident or your injuries you may not be able to recover from the other party. It works like this, if you were not wearing your seatbelt and that fact contributed to your injuries by more than 51%, you will not be awarded damages against the other party. Determining these facts and figures is complicated, and takes the skill and know-how of an experienced personal injury attorney. Every case is different, and a thoughtful examination of the facts of your case is required to make a meaningful assessment of your circumstances.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, call a qualified attorney to develop the facts in a way that clearly demonstrate who is at fault. Let an experienced attorney help you file on time and fight for full and fair compensation for your injuries. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.