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What Makes a Good Personal Injury Case? 


In a fair world, there would be no need for personal injury cases. Instead, people who are responsible for injuring someone else would take responsibility and do what was necessary to help the injured person get back on their feet. 

Unfortunately, we don’t always live in a fair world. 

Too many times, those who have been injured have to fight for what they deserve. And, unfortunately, they’re not always successful. That’s where we come in. At DiPasquale Moore, we have a track record of success with personal injury cases. 

Here is what needs to be in place to give you the best chance of winning your case. 

What Exactly Is a Personal Injury Case? 

Personal injury seems like a self-explanatory phrase: it’s when a person gets hurt. But there’s a little more to it than that. People get hurt all the time, and no one’s to blame. But in a personal injury case, someone else has done something (or neglected to do something) that has injured someone else. 

Personal injury cases are different than criminal cases. They are civil cases. This means a few things: 

  • Jail time is never on the table in a personal injury case (although criminal charges can be brought from the same accident on which a civil suit is based). 
  • Monetary damages are the only form of relief in a personal injury case.   That means that the only thing a court can do is award money. This award can include payments for things like pain and suffering or emotional distress, but a dollar value needs to be assigned even to these intangible items. 
  • You are not required by law to hire a personal injury lawyer for your case. It’s possible to bring a suit without a lawyer, but it might not be in your best interest.  
  • The person bringing the suit is called the plaintiff. The person, business, or group accused of injuring them is called the defendant.  

Types of Personal Injury Cases 

All personal injury cases share similarities, but there are differences, too. A car accident is much different from a medical malpractice case. While personal injury attorneys can represent people with any type of case, some focus on particular types. Some of these types include: 

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles 
  • Larger transportation accidents, like plane or train crashes 
  • Slips and falls 
  • Medical malpractice 
  • Product liability 
  • Premises liability 
  • Workplace injuries 
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse 
  • Dog bites 

Requirements to Bring a Personal Injury Case 

Personal injury lawsuits cannot be brought by just anyone. For example, if a person slipped and fell in a store, an onlooker could not file a personal injury claim against the store. Here are the legal requirements for bringing a case: 

  • Duty of care. This means that the defendant had some responsibility towards the plaintiff to use reasonable care to avoid causing harm. For example, every time you drive a car, you have a responsibility to do so in a way that’s safe for the people around you. However, a person who witnesses an accident but has no connection to it is not legally required to provide care for anyone who was injured — they do not have the duty of care. 
  • Breach of duty of care. When someone who owes another person a duty of care acts or fails to act in a way that’s contrary to that duty, it’s considered a breach of duty. Generally, the legal standard is what a «reasonable person» would do in the defendant’s situation. If the defendant acts in a way that’s different from what a reasonable person would do, they may be held responsible. 
  • Causation. The defendant’s breach of duty must have caused or contributed to the accident.   For example, an injury might be caused by tripping over uneven flooring, and the property owner may be responsible. However, the same owner would not be held responsible if the injury was caused by someone tripping over their own feet, just because it was on their property. 
  • Actual injury. It’s not enough that you could have been injured by someone’s negligence but weren’t actually hurt. In order to bring a personal injury suit, there needs to be a real injury (physical, psychological, or emotional). 

Example Cases 

Case A – Rebecca 

Rebecca trips on an uneven floor and sprains her ankle. Sean, Rebecca’s friend, was with her when she tripped and had not offered to hold her hand. 

  • Rebecca can probably bring a suit against the owner of the building because the floor wasn’t properly maintained, and the owner has a duty of care towards her. 
  • But Rebecca probably cannot bring a case against Sean. Although offering to help her is a kind thing to do, he does not have a legal requirement to do so. 

Case B – Ryan 

Ryan is walking down the aisles of a supermarket when he slips on some water that was spilled by another customer just a couple of minutes before. The store is generally well-maintained, but the employees had not discovered the spill as it had just happened. In this case, the store might not have breached their duty of care. The store did not create the hazard and generally maintain things in a safe way. Depending on the circumstances, Ryan may or may not have a valid personal injury case. 

Case C – Tom 

Tom had a heart attack while he was in his accountant’s office. He cannot sue his accountant just because the injury happened in his office; the accountant did nothing to cause Tom’s heart attack. 

Case D – Sheila 

Ben and Lila are playing frisbee in the park. Sheila is sitting on a bench at the park. Ben throws the frisbee in a way that goes right over Sheila’s head but does not touch her. Sheila has a right to be upset, but she does not have a legal case against Ben, because she wasn’t actually injured. 

Do You Need a Lawyer? 

Although you are not legally required to have a lawyer, it’s generally in your best interest to do so. According to the Insurance Research Council, plaintiffs with attorneys receive awards that are more than three times as much as those without legal representation. 

Why do plaintiffs with attorneys tend to win more? It’s because their attorney understands the laws and how the legal system works and can guide them through the process. Lawsuits have very specific rules to be followed and paperwork that must be filed. The best way to ensure that you meet the requirements is with guidance from an experienced professional. 

If you’ve been injured, contact us at DiPasquale Moore for a free consultation about your case. We’ll meet with you to evaluate your case. There’s no obligation, so there’s no reason not to contact us today to see how we can help with your personal injury claim. 


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