Being in a serious accident is one of the worst things that can happen to you. It can be extremely difficult to recover from such an accident. What is even worse is that you will be forced to pay for expensive hospital treatment and may be too injured to work, perhaps for the rest of your life.
If you have been injured in a serious accident in the Trenton, NJ area, you need the help of a highly experienced personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ. If you have been injured, you need to contact Rand Spear and the personal injury lawyers at Spear Greenfield today for a free consultation and case review.
Common Types of Serious Injuries
Serious injuries are those injuries that have a catastrophic effect on your health. These injuries can be life-threatening or result in permanent disfigurement or disability. According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), serious injuries that are common in traffic accidents–where most people would suffer from a serious injury–are:
- Severe cuts that result in the exposure of underlying tissues, muscles, organs, or bones, and/or result in serious blood loss
- Fractures in the extremities (arms or legs)
- Crush injuries
- Skull, chest, or abdominal injuries other than minor cuts or scarring
- Major burn injuries categorized as second or third-degree burns over more than 10% of your body
- Unconsciousness caused by traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis caused by a serious spinal cord injury
In any of these injuries, not only is your life threatened, but even if you survive, you will likely suffer from life-altering and life-worsening pain, disfigurement, or disability. All of this is bad enough, but if another person is at fault for your injuries, it can feel even worse. To get justice against those who were at fault for your serious injury, you should contact a highly skilled and professional Trenton, NJ serious injury attorney.
When Someone Is at Fault for Your Injuries
In most situations, someone else is at fault for your injuries if they acted in a manner that was negligent. Negligence is when a person acts in a way that takes less care than a reasonable average person would have taken under the same or similar circumstances. To prove negligence, you must normally show that a person’s actions meet four distinct elements:
The first element of negligence is duty. “Duty” is the legal obligation that another person owes to you to act with a certain amount of care to avoid hurting you. For example, all drivers on the road have a general duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring other drivers on the road.
In other words, they must be at least as careful as an average person would be. Other times that a duty might arise are situations where:
- You are on someone’s property with their permission (such as as a customer or a social guest).
- The other person knew or should have known that the actions they were performing were likely to harm someone (such as when someone engages in conduct that is “abnormally dangerous”).
- When the other person has a legally special relationship to you (such as a doctor to their patients)
The issue of whether a “duty” exists in any given scenario is a legal question that will usually be decided by a judge rather than a jury.
The next element of negligence is breach. “Breach” means that the defendant acted in such a way that violated the duty that they had to you. This is typically where the negligent act will be considered.
For example, if a driver on the road hurts you because they were on their cell phone, that driver did not act in a way that a reasonably prudent person would have, and therefore breached their duty to you. Issues of whether an allegedly negligent action was a breach of a duty are sometimes legal questions, but are more often factual questions that must be decided by a jury. This is because the standard of what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances is obviously a subjective test that the jury must decide using their own experiences.
The third element of negligence is causation. This means that the defendant’s conduct must have been both the cause-in-fact of a plaintiff’s harm and the proximate cause of that harm. “Cause-in-fact” means that the plaintiff’s injuries would not have happened except for the fact that the defendant did their act. In other words, “but for” the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have been injured.
“Proximate cause” means that the plaintiff’s injuries were a foreseeable cause of the defendant’s actions. For example, if a defendant hits a plaintiff with their car, the plaintiff’s injuries from hitting the cement are obviously a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions. However, if the defendant sells the plaintiff a bad product, and the plaintiff is hit by a car on the way to the store to exchange it for a new one, the plaintiff’s injuries are probably not the proximate cause of the defendant’s actions.
The final element of negligence is damages. “Damages” are exactly what they sound like. You must have suffered some harm–either personal injury or injury to your property–as a result of the defendant’s conduct.
In serious injury cases, you will be able to show your hospital bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering, among other things, to prove that you suffered damages.
Trenton Serious Injury Lawyer Near Me (215) 985-2424
Contact a Serious Injury Attorney in Trenton, NJ
Suffering from a serious injury is one of the worst things that can happen to you. When you suffer from a serious injury, it is not just your body that gets hurt, but your bank account. While getting monetary justice will not make you stop hurting, it will at least give you the peace of mind to know that you will not lose your house because of an injury.
Contact Trenton, NJ serious injury lawyer at Rand Spear today for a free consultation and case review.