In the first two parts of this overview of negligence, we talked about the standard of care and about causation. Before you can get any kind of monetary award after suffering a personal injury, you must first show that the defendant failed to (or breached) a duty to act as a reasonable person under the circumstances. You must then show that the defendant's breach actually caused an accident that the losses you suffered were reasonably foreseeable. But that's still not enough to warrant financial recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. You must also show that you had actual losses.
At first glance, it may seem redundant or even obvious-assume someone runs a stop sign and hits your car. There must be some kind of loss, right? Not necessarily.
Let's look at the nature of your injuries and losses. Suppose the other car just barely makes contact with your car. Here are some of the questions that will be asked:
- Did you lose any time at work, or any wages or income because of the accident?
- Did you have any medical expenses because of the accident?
- Did you experience any pain or suffering because of the accident? What form did it take?
- Did you suffer loss of companionship due to your injuries?
- Was there any damage to your vehicle that needed to be fixed?
If the answer is no to all of these questions, then you can successfully show that the defendant breached the standard of care, that it cause an accident, but you won't be able to show that you've lost anything as a result.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you if you have been injured, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free at ). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.