Negligence / Other Injuries: Injured
Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Negligence and Other Injuries

Negligence is the most commonly used legal principle in personal injury lawsuits. Essentially, the concept of negligence rests on the idea that the defendant owed some sort of a duty to the injured party and that duty was somehow breached. The duty is usually breached through an action or inaction of the defendant. The breach of the injury must have been the proximate cause of the injury.

There also exists an element of foreseeability in negligence. For there to be a valid negligence claim, the injury must have been foreseeable in the actions (or inaction) of the defendant and the injured party must have been within a "zone of danger". The concept of foreseeability is sometimes different among the states but the general premise is the same.

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When calculating damages for an injury lawsuit, lost wages are often included in the total amount.

Lost wages typically include money that a plaintiff would have earned from the time the injury occurred until the settlement is reached or a trial is complete. However, an injury lawsuit may also seek recovery for the loss of future wages, known as earning capacity. Damages for lost earning capacity seek to compensate an injured person for his or her diminished ability to earn money in the future due to impairments caused by an injury.

When can a plaintiff seek these two types of damages?

A man who claims he was injured on a Southwest Airlines flight by a falling carry-on bag has filed a lawsuit against the airline.

Jerry Reinhardt was seated on a Southwest plane at Portland International Airport in 2013 when another passenger tried to fit a large carry-on bag into the compartment above Reinhardt's head, reports The Oregonian. Reinhardt's lawsuit claims that when a flight attendant came to help the passenger cram the bag into the overhead bin, the bag fell on him, causing him to suffer an injury.

Why does Reinhardt think the airline should be responsible for his injury, and how much is he seeking to recover?

Although it may seem like the sky is the limit when it comes to personal injury damage awards, in many cases a damages cap may limit compensation in an injury case.

A damages cap can apply in a number of different situations. Case in point: In a lawsuit brought by a 13-year-old girl injured in the 2011 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, the Indiana Court of Appeals this week upheld an Indiana law limiting the state's total liability for an incident to $5 million. In that incident, seven people were killed and more than 100 were injured. Nevertheless, Indiana's damages cap limited total recovery to $5 million among the more than 62 victims who settled with the state, in addition to $6 million for 59 other victims approved by state legislators.

With this case in mind, how might a damages cap affect your injury case?

For parents or guardians of children, an injury suffered at school is certainly cause for alarm.

But whether or not a child's injury should lead to a personal injury lawsuit may depend on a number of different factors. One of the most important factors is, of course, the type and severity of the injury suffered by your child. When an injury does not result in the need for medical treatment or create lasting physical or emotional harm, it may be difficult to recover damages in a lawsuit.

What else should you know when deciding whether to file a lawsuit for a school injury? Here are a few points to consider:

When you're considering an injury lawsuit, what questions should you ask a personal injury lawyer?

Any time you suffer an injury, the priority is to get medical treatment if needed. After that, you may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

During this meeting, the lawyer will likely have a number of questions about your injury. But your lawyer shouldn't be the only one with questions. What do you need to know from your potential attorney? Here are five questions you might want to ask:

As the owners of property, landlords are often legally responsible for the condition, upkeep, and use of their property, including legal liability for injuries that may be suffered by tenants or visitors.

Known as premises liability, this legal theory may be used to hold a property owner liable for injuries that occur on his or her property. But a landlord's potential liability can depend on both the cause of the injury as well as the legal status of the person who was injured.

Although specific laws may vary depending on your state, when are landlords liable for injuries? Here's a general overview:

You may have been injured a while ago, and you just haven't gotten around to pursuing your injury claim yet.

But beware: If you wait too long, you might be too late to get compensation in civil court for your injuries. On the other hand, even though a lot of time has passed, you shouldn't always assume that your case isn't worth pursuing.

So when is it too late to sue for injury?

The 2014 year was like many before it, full of injuries, dangerous defects, and personal injury lawsuits.

FindLaw's Injured wants its readers to know what legal options exist for those who are injured or placed in dangerous situations, and 2014 has not failed to educate.

So let's look at the 10 most popular Injured stories for 2014:

Many workers look forward to closing out the year at an office party. But what happens when an office party mishap results in a serious injury?

A Utah man was recently hospitalized following an egg nog chugging contest at his office holiday party, reports The Associated Press. The man reportedly downed an entire quart of non-alcoholic eggnog in 12 seconds. In the process, however, the man inhaled a portion of the egg nog and suffered a lung infection. The infection required three days of hospitalization.

What are the legal options for those injured at an office party?

Skiers and snowboarders may want to take note of a recent ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court regarding ski resorts and blanket liability waivers.

In a somewhat unusual decision, the Oregon high court ruled in Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor Inc. that the liability waiver preventing a paralyzed man from suing the resort over his snowboarding injuries was legally unenforceable. The Oregonian reports that this may change the entire ski industry, as many resorts make use of similar waivers.

So what five things should you know about this ski waiver decision?