Injury Law Attorney Clearwater - New Port Richey - Tampa Bay

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1 Injury Law Attorney Clearwater - New Port Richey - Tampa Bay You need an aggressive injury lawyer to fight for your rights WHAT IS INJURY LAW? Injury Law is what an injury attorney would refer to as Tort law. The basic principle of tort law is that injured persons should be compensated by those responsible for their injuries. The person causing the inj ury is called a tortfeasor. If a person is injured due to the wrongdoing of a tortfeasor, they are entitled to recover damages for their injuries. The legal definition of injury is not limited to physical injuries. Economic harm, emotional pain and suffering, damage to a person's reputation, and violations of the right to privacy or other constitutional rights are examples of non physical injuries. There are three main categories of torts: Intentional torts, strict liability torts, and negligence INTENTIONAL TORTS 1 / 7

2 Just like it sounds, intentional torts is a category of injury law, in which a tortfeasor intentionally commits a wrongdoing. Examples of intentional torts are battery and defamation. For example, if a tortfeasor, that I'll refer to as Mad Max, deliberately runs someone over with their car, it is an intentional tort (not to mention also a serious crime). When there is an intentional tort, the tortfeasor may also be sued for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded not to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries, but to punish the tortfeasor from engaging in such offensive conduct in the future. Punitive damages can also be awarded if the tortfeasor, though not intending to injure someone, acts with reckless disregard of the safety of others. Lets say that Mad Max is driving 120 miles an hour through a school zone at 8:30 in the morning with his eyes closed while steering with his feet. Although he never intended to hurt somebody, this gross reckless disregard for life would probably result in punitive damages if he hit and injured somebody. STRICT LIABILITY Strict Liability is a category of torts in injury law in which the Plaintiff recovers if they are injured even though the tortfeasor does nothing wrong. Owners of wild or dangerous animals are strictly liable for injuries their animals may cause. Anyone engaged in ultra hazardous or abnormally dangerous activities is strictly liable for any injuries. Finally, manufacturers may be strictly liable for injuries caused by their products to consumers NEGLIGENCE 2 / 7

3 The most common tort in injury law is negligence. The vast majority of law suits filed by an injury law attorney involving car accidents are for negligence. There are five elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, injury, actual cause, and proximate cause. An experienced injury lawyer can help prove these five elements. DUTY The first element of a cause of action for negligence is duty of care. Did the tortfeasor owe a duty to the plaintiff? There are two ways in which a duty of care may be established: if the tortfeasor and plaintiff have a special relationship that creates the duty, or if it is a duty created by society and the interaction that people have with each other. An example of a special relationship causing a duty is the patient-doctor relationship. A doctor has a duty to give his patients reasonable medical care. An example of a societal duty is the duty that all automobile drivers have with each other to drive safely. If Mad Max is driving his vehicle, he owes a duty to all members of society to drive safely. BREACH OF DUTY The second element of a cause of action for negligence is the breach of the duty of care. A tortfeasor breaches his duty of care if the person fails to exercise reasonable care. The law does not require perfection, only reasonable behavior. The question of what is reasonable behavior is based on what a reasonably prudent person have done under similar circumstances. If the duty is based on a special relationship, like a doctor-patient relationship, the question of what is reasonable is not based on reasonably prudent persons, but on reasonable behavior of the class covered by the relationship. In other words, a doctor is 3 / 7

4 expected to give reasonable medical care based on what is deemed to be reasonable in the medical community. The question of whether someone acts reasonably is a fact subjectively decided by a jury. Lets say Mad Max is involved in a car accident in which Mad Max is driving the speed limit and obeying all traffic laws. All of a sudden an earthquake occurs, and despite his best efforts, he hits another vehicle. In all likelihood, under this scenario, Mad Max would not be negligent, because the accident could probably not have been prevented. 99 percent of drivers under that scenario would have still hit the other car. Even though NASAR champion Jimmie Johnson may have been able to avoid the accident, the duty of care is not established based on the best driver in the world, but on an average reasonable person. INJURY The third element of a cause of action for negligence is injury. Was the Plaintiff hurt because of the tortfeasor's breach of duty? Let's say that Mad Max runs a stop sign, jams on his breaks, but still barely touches the vehicle going through the intersection. If the Plaintiff's vehicle is not damaged and the Plaintiff isn't hurt, although Mad Max breached his duty to drive safely, the tort of negligence hasn't been proven. ACTUAL CAUSE 4 / 7

5 The fourth element of a cause of action for negligence is actual causation. The tortfeasor's negligence must be the cause of the injury. A common defense of insurance companies is to claim that the Plaintiff did not receive an injury from the car accident, but had a pre-existing injury. A typical example is the insurance company claiming that a Plaintiff's herniated disc was caused not by being rear ended by Mad Max, but from natural aging. However, if a person has a pre-existing injury, and it is made worse due to someone else's negligence, the tortfeasor is responsible for the exasperation of the injury. PROXIMATE CAUSE The fourth element of a cause of action for negligence is proximate cause. If the injury suffered is not reasonably foreseeable and is too factually remote from the breach of duty, the law can prevent a recovery. For instance, suppose Mad Max is driving down the road and runs a stop sign which causes another driver to slam on his brakes. As a result of slamming on the brakes, the other driver spills her coffee on her pants. The next day that driver takes her pant's to the dry cleaners. When she gets her pants back they have shrunk but she continues to wear them anyway. As a result of wearing the skin tight shrunken pants, the driver develops a rash, which later gets infected and results in an ugly scar. Because the driver is a bikini model and the scar is ugly, she loses her modeling job for nest year's Sport Illustrated swimsuit shoot. As a result of losing this modeling job, she decides to sue Mad Max. In this case, Mad Max would not be responsible for the loss of the modeling job since it is too remote from Mad Max's running of the stop sign CONTINGENT FEES We take cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay us nothing unless we win your case. All costs and expenses are paid for up front by your injury law attorney who will only be reimbursed if there is a recovery. If we win your case, we will receive a percentage of the 5 / 7

6 proceeds of the settlement or jury award. TYPES OF INJURY LAW CASES HANDLED Auto accident injury attorney Slip and fall injury attorney Wrongful death injury attorney D og bite injury attorney DON'T HESITATE TO CALL A DEDICATED INJURY LAWYER If you need an injury law attorney for any injury law case in Clearwater, New Port Richey, or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay area, don't hesitate to call an experienced and knowledgeable injury lawyer THREE CONVENIENT OFFICES Pinellas Office U.S. Hwy 19 N, St 505 Clearwater, FL Pasco Office 6 / 7

7 2150 Seven Springs Bvd. Trinity, FL Hillsborough Office 2203 North Lois Ave., Ste 900 Tampa, FL / 7

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