Personal Injury


Personal injury actions are the most common type of litigation around the country. Personal injury has its roots in old English common law and was developed as a method for making an injured person whole. The legal theory of negligence developed from personal injury actions and is now an integral part of any personal injury suit.

Personal injury actions may occur after any situation in which one person’s actions led to another person’s injuries. This may include the following:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Boating Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice


Personal injury actions include wrongful death actions, which may be brought at the same time as a personal injury claim. Wrongful death is a painful process for the loved ones of the victim, and often represents the first step toward recovery after the devastating incident.

Negligent conduct might include an action such as a person texting while driving which causes their car to hit another car. Negligence may also be caused by inaction, such as a doctor who does not act on a diagnosis, leading to patient injury. While each state has different definitions and qualifications of negligent behavior, typically four elements must be met to claim a personal injury claim under a theory of negligence:

  • Duty of Care
  • Breach of Duty of Care
  • Causation
  • Injury / Damages

All elements of a negligence claim must be met in order to succeed in a personal injury action.

Duty of Care

Every person has a duty to behave like a reasonably prudent person would in the same situation. In a personal injury action, a court will determine whether the person acted with the appropriate level of care in causing the accident.

Certain individuals may be held to an even higher duty of care, such as trained medical professionals. However, these individuals will be held to the same standard of other similarly situated professionals (with the same amount of experience).


The breach of this duty of care is often what leads to the accident. In a car accident scenario, the breach may be when a person looks down at their phone to text while driving. This action essentially breaches the standard for reasonable drivers. A reasonable driver will keep their attention focused on the road and their surroundings, and not on a cell phone in their hands.


In addition to the breach of the duty of care, the breach itself must be the reason for the injury. A court will look at actual causation – “but for the breach of the duty of care, the injured party would not be injured,” as well as proximate causation – the breach was a substantial cause of the eventual injuries.

Damages / Injury

In order to bring a personal injury claim, there must be some form of damages. This may be represented in physical injuries or monetary damages. Other injuries, including psychological injuries, may also be included if they can be quantified in court.


If you have suffered an injury caused by the actions of another person, do not hesitate to contact an attorney who can carefully examine your claim and determine the best path forward.