Just about all personal claims will make one of two arguments: either the plaintiff was injured because of the defendant’s negligence, or the plaintiff was injured because of the defendant’s intentional actions.
How do these two types of personal injury cases differ? Let’s take a quick look.
There are four elements to a personal injury claim based on negligence that the plaintiff must demonstrate:
- Duty: The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. For example, drivers have a legal duty to obey the rules of the road and operate their vehicles with reasonable care.
- Breach of duty: The defendant breached that duty of care. Using the auto accident example, an example of a breach of duty could be disobeying the rules of the road, such as speeding or blowing through a traffic signal.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of that duty directly caused the accident in question. Just because they were speeding, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean they caused the accident; the plaintiff must be able to prove causation.
- Damages: Harm occurred as a result of the accident, including medical bills, lost income or property damage.
Intentional tort cases arise when a defendant behaved in a way that demonstrated their intent to harm of cause offense to the plaintiff, or the threat of such harm or offense. Examples of such claims include assault, battery, trespassing or false imprisonment.
Some intentional torts can result in criminal charges, especially for issues such as assault and battery.
For more information about negligence and intentional torts and how the two types of cases differ from each other, contact an experienced Manatee County personal injury attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.