The term "personal injury" refers to any injury occurring to the person (or the body). Most personal injuries are physical in nature, but injuries can also be mental or emotional. Personal injuries often stem from the negligence of a person or entity.What is Necessary to Have a Claim for a Personal Injury?
A claim for personal injury requires four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. All four are required to have to hold a person or entity legally responsible for a personal injury. I will detail each element below. As a Myrtle Beach Personal Injury attorney for over 11 years, I have held hundreds liable for their negligent and reckless behavior and, in the process, I have recovered millions of dollars for my clients.Duty of Care
The first requirement is that a duty must exist. In the United States, there is a legal duty to act reasonably in order to avoid injuring others. The most common personal injuries involve motor vehicle accidents. Drivers have a duty to be licensed, sober, attentive and to obey the rules governing the roadways. Another common personal injury claim involves a slip and fall in a store or restaurant. This is often referred to as a premises liability claim. The owner or person in charge of a premises has a duty to maintain the premises in a safe manner. This includes warning patrons of known dangers and discovering dangers in a reasonable time period.Breach of a Duty
A breach of a duty is simply failing to uphold the requirements of the duty. This is most often the result of negligence, as opposed to an act intended to harm. In the driving example, a driver being unlicensed, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or texting while driving are examples of a breached duty as a result of negligence. In the slip and fall example, after mopping, a "wet floor" sign is necessary to warn of the danger. Failure to warn patrons of the wet floor is a negligent breach.Causation and Damages
Next, are the elements of causation and damages. Damages are the losses sustained by the injury. The element of causation is the requirement that damages suffered be caused by the breach of the duty. In the motor vehicle accident example, compensatory damages would include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical bills, lost wages, emotional stress and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be awarded in cases involving reckless or malicious conduct. Punitive damages are intended to punish the party causing the injury.Other Examples of Personal Injuries
Personal injuries come in many different forms. In addition to motor vehicle accidents and premises liability claims, personal injury claims can arise from defective products, medical malpractice, boating accidents, dog bites, food poisoning, nursing home abuse and neglect, prescription drug injuries, defective railings and balconies, bicycle accidents, golf cart accidents, defamation and assault and battery. As a Myrtle Beach Personal Injury attorney since 2006, I have handled a wide variety of personal injury cases. Call Will Parker Law at (843) 357-4111 or my cell at (843) 999-2907 for a free consultation. I offer free home and hospital visits.