An accident is an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes. When an accident results in injury, the affected party may be entitled to relief under the law or to compensation under an insurance policy.
Injury generally refers to a harm suffered, which may be physical or emotional pain and suffering, damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right, breach of contract, or damage to real or personal property. The civil law seeks to compensate victims of wrongful acts, whether they are intentional or unintentional, for the injuries that could reasonably be expected from such acts. Injuries must be proven by the plaintiff and evidence may be introduced to support the amount, if any, of money damages sought. For example, in a personal injury lawsuit, among the types of damages the injured party may recover are: loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable medical expenses. They include both present and future expected losses. In some instances, the court will order a type of relief other than a monetary award, such as an injunction, to remedy an injury that money cannot correct.
Dog bite laws vary from state to state. The law of most states follows a “strict liability” theory. Under these statutes, the dog owner is responsible for any damage caused by an attack from their dog. In other states, in order for the owner of a dog to be liable to a person injured, the plaintiff must prove that the dog was vicious or had a natural inclination or tendency to be dangerous and that the owner had knowledge of such a tendency. Viciousness may typically be established by testimony regarding past attacks, past complaints, and methods of confinement.
Property owners are often responsible if someone falls on their property. Companies and municipalities are responsible for the maintenance of their streets and sidewalks. This means that they have to clean the sidewalk when it snows, they have to make sure the sidewalks are safe and take measures so that the pedestrian can safely walk their property. If you fall on the sidewalk because of ice, fall in a supermarket because of a wet aisle, or fall down a set of stairs without a proper handle or with poor lighting, a personal injury claim may be filed.