Personal injury law is a type of tort law, which is the area of law that protects people from the negligence or harmful acts of others. The main goal of personal injury law is to make people whole after an injury caused by an accident or negligence. This generally means compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and sometimes pain and suffering caused by an injury.
To seek legal action against someone who has injured you, you must have a set of facts and a legal theory that supports your claim. The collection of facts is called a “cause of action,” and if proven true allows you to be awarded compensation in a Florida court of law.
Your cause of action limits the evidence that you are allowed to present if your case goes to trial. If you leave out a cause of action, then you will not be permitted to offer evidence for that cause unless it relates to a cause of action you did allege.
For this reason, you need the best personal injury attorney in Pompano Beach by your side. You need a personal injury attorney who pays attention to all the details, so you get the best settlement possible. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, call LJW Legal today for a free case evaluation.
What Is a Cause of Action?
In tort law, a cause of action is a set of facts used to validate the injured party or plaintiff’s right to sue another for compensation for injuries or damages caused in an accident. It is defined as a condition under which one person would be entitled to sue another.
A cause of action can occur due to an act or failure to act, breach of duty, or a violation of rights. The circumstances of the facts of your case will have an impact on your cause of action. In personal injury law, negligence or breach of duty is usually the focus of cause of action.
Difference Between a Claim & Cause of Action
Simply put, a cause of action is a set of facts that can be used as the basis for a lawsuit. Keep in mind that in legalese, “action” means a lawsuit. So a cause of action is the legal grounds for a lawsuit. In some cases, there can be many causes of action. These will all factor into your case. If there is no cause of action, this means the facts presented won’t support a lawsuit.
Your claim is the section of your lawsuit where you state the damages you wish to recover. This is where you detail the compensation you require to cover your medical bills, lost wages, future medical care, and future lost wages as well as pain and suffering.
These claims are what your compensation will be based on, and the cause of action is what supports your claims. While the claim and the cause of action are not exactly the same thing, they are closely connected.
Types of Causes of Action in Personal Injury Claims
Depending on how you were injured, you may decide on one of the following causes of action as the basis of your personal injury claim.
Duty of Care
This refers to the responsibility one person has for the safety of another person. This duty can be created by law or may also fall under the standard of reasonable care. For instance, the owner of a store or shop has a recognized duty to offer a safe place to purchase items. A driver has a duty to not be a danger to other motorists on the road. This may also be referred to as a standard of reasonable care.
Breach of Duty
In this instance, you must show that there was a breach of duty. In other words, someone did not uphold their responsibility to drive safely or keep their property in good repair. As with duty, sometimes breach of duty is defined by law, such as when a driver speeds or runs a red light. In other cases, it is common sense and reasonable care, such as making sure there is no oncoming traffic before making a right-hand turn.
You must be able to link the breach of duty as the cause of the accident. You must prove that the damages to property or the accident that caused your injures were caused by the other side’s actions. This means that you must be able to link a person’s reckless driving to the accident that caused your injuries, or a property owner’s lack of repairs as the reason you tripped and fell.
This is pretty clear cut. You must have been injured in some way by someone else’s action. The injury can be either physical, psychological, emotional trauma or both.
If you cannot prove one cause of action, it is still possible to prove one or more of the other causes of action included in your claim and recover compensation. If your personal injury lawyer successfully proves a cause of action, the other side is considered liable for monetary compensation for things such as medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by your injury.
It is important to understand that different causes of action have different statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations lays out the time limit or deadline you have to file a lawsuit.
Answering the Causes of Action
When you file a lawsuit or claim with the court, the defendant will get a copy of the complaint, including the causes of action. The defendant is served the compliant with a summons, and they have thirty days from the date they receive the complaint to file their written responses.
The defendant’s written responses will answer each cause of action in your complaint. They may include counterclaims or legal defenses that the court needs to hear. They will most likely try to disprove each cause of action. This can range from limitations not being met, to claiming that no damages or duty is owed to the victim.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Choosing the right cause of action is key to the success of your personal injury case. Of course, you want to make your case as strong as possible. The best way to figure out the causes of action that will make your case the strongest is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. A lawyer will go over your legal rights and options. They are familiar with the elements that must be proved and the statute of limitations for each cause of action if they differ.
A Pompano Beach personal injury attorney can help make sure your rights are protected. Personal injury cases are rarely as simple as they seem at first glance. There are specific legal procedures you must follow and deadlines you must meet if you want your case to succeed. If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, malpractice, or other situation that was caused by someone else’s negligence, contact LJW Legal today. We’re ready to fight to make sure you get the compensation for your injuries that you deserve.