A personal injury claim is a legal claim a person (plaintiff) can make if another party (defendant) injuries the claimant, usually because of the defendant’s negligence. Some common types of personal injury claims include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips and falls
- Dog bites
But just because you suffered an injury in an accident does not mean you are entitled to file a personal injury claim. You must be able to prove that the defendant is responsible for the accident and your injuries, which can be difficult in some cases.
Our personal injury lawyers can meet with you for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Elements of Negligence
Most personal injury claims require proving these four elements:
- Duty of Care – The defendant owed the claimant a duty of care to prevent an accident and injury
- Breach of Duty – The other party failed to provide reasonable care, i.e., was negligent or reckless
- Causation – The defendant caused your injuries, and reasonably should have known their actions could cause an accident and injury
- Damages – The accident caused you substantial injury and damages
It is not enough to prove that the defendant was negligent or reckless (e.g., speeding). You must also prove that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness caused your accident. Then, you must connect your injuries and other damages to the accident.
Examples of Claims
To better illustrate what constitutes a personal injury claim, consider the following example of the four elements at work: A drunk driver runs a red light, striking another vehicle. The victim in the other vehicle suffers a broken hip as a result the accident.
Here are how the four elements listed above would work in this case:
- Duty of care – All drivers owe others on the road a duty of care to drive responsibly and avoid accidents
- Breach of Duty – A driver breaches that duty by choosing to drive drunk. Running a red light is also a negligent act
- Causation – The drunk driver caused the accident by being intoxicated and running the red light. The drunk driver should reasonably know that driving while impaired can cause an accident, and that running a red light may endanger other drivers
- Damages – The accident caused the victim’s broken hip, and probably various other damages
Contacting a Lawyer
Every personal injury claim is different, from the parties involved to the severity of the injuries. Your unique circumstances dictate how you will need to go about seeking compensation for your injuries. For example, car accidents follow a different compensation process in Ontario than a slip and fall, because different insurance and liability rules cover each type of accident.
Our lawyers dedicate their practice to helping Ontario residents understand their rights and pursue the claims to which they are entitled. Contact today to learn about your right to recovery after an accident.