Personal Injury Law: Due Diligence

In the United States, a complex number of laws, statutes, and codes govern the body of law known as tort, or civil law. Personal injury claims fall under the broader category known as tort law, which require a specific process for verifying and validating claims, then assessing damage awards to plaintiffs when applicable. Personal injury due diligence is the part of tort law processes that allows for the plaintiff to make claims of negligence against a defendant. If a jury or judge finds that a defendant or defendants named in a personal injury suit to did not utilize due diligence in a given situation, the now negligent defendant or defendants can be ordered to pay compensatory damages to plaintiffs, who are also known as victims. Personal injury due diligence essentially means a person, business, or entity has taken the due care or effort to the standards of another reasonable person or to the standard of care of their profession to prevent the injuries sustained by a victim.

Types of Personal Injury Torts

There are many types of cases of personal injury torts, and each one espouses conditions, circumstances, and actions that are completely unique to each individual personal injury tort case. Given this nature, a significant amount of personal injury cases do not fit into all of the commonly noted categories, however, some of the more well-known incidents that can result in victim's pursuing a personal injury tort case include:

  • Criminal assaults
  • Vehicular crashes and collisions
  • Product liability injuries
  • Dental or medical malpractice
  • Environmental violations
  • Employment injuries or illness
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Tripping injuries
  • Recreational venue injuries

In almost all of the aforementioned types of personal injury torts, a plaintiff will seek the counsel and representation of a personal injury lawyer in pursuing claims of personal injury damages. Claims for damages, whether for physical, psychological, or financial, are the rights of plaintiffs when negligence is shown to have been the direct cause of a victim's injuries. Making these claims, successfully, however, is through plaintiffs proving the burden of the guilt shows that the defendant did not operate sufficient due diligence to prevent the injuries or damages that a victim sustained. In the American civil courts, the preponderance of evidence must point to showing that the defendants, whether an individual, business, or organization, allowed for a liability to exist that could have potentially caused injury to another individual. The chance of accidents occurring in life is high, and in understanding, the civil courts use the test of a reasonable standard of care to validate the level of negligence, and in turn, the level of responsibility, that a defendant has for a plaintiff's injuries.

Determining Due Diligence

When determining personal injury due diligence, the judge and jury will seek to answer the following questions:

  • Did the defendant act in a manner that a reasonable person would have?
  • Did the defendant, who is a professional, operate according to the reasonable standard of care found within their profession?
  • Were the actions, or failure to act the proximate cause of a victim's injuries?
  • Did the negligent actions cause damages to a victim?
  • Does the victim own partial liability for his or her own damages as well?

The last question of whether the plaintiff was partially or completely at fault for his or her own injuries is a highly pertinent question in personal injury due diligence. If it is found that a combination of plaintiff and defendant negligence resulted in damages, each state has their own policy for allocating damage awards. Some states will offer percentages of damage claims based on the percentage of liability assessed to defendants and plaintiffs, while others will not award any compensation for plaintiffs found more than one percent liable for their own personal injuries. Only a personal injury lawyer is versed enough in your local, state, and federal laws to make a true assessment of the viability of your personal injury case earning damages.

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