Fundamentals of a Personal Injury Claim in NJ

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

22 Mar. 2017

Were you recently injured in an accident that was not your fault in Hackensack, or anywhere else in New Jersey? If so, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Personal injury claims are based on the theory of “negligence,” which simply refers to careless or reckless behavior.

When an individual or entity, such as a business, fails to exercise the acceptable level of care that a reasonable person would apply under the same circumstances, and this substandard conduct causes unintentional harm to another person, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Essentially, people can’t go around acting irresponsible and injuring others. In an effort to deter such negligent behavior and minimize accidental injuries, each state allows injured parties to file a civil lawsuit against at-fault parties for damages, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost income

What type of conduct would give rise to a personal injury lawsuit? There are many ways that a person can engage in negligent behavior; for example, speeding would be considered negligence or texting while driving. If a grocery store learned about a spilled bottle of slippery shampoo on the floor and left it there – that would be considered negligent.

If someone adopted an aggressive dog from an animal shelter and after the dog bit a neighbor’s child, the dog’s owner let the dog roam the neighborhood unleashed and it bit another child, the dog’s owner would be “liable” because he knew that his dog had the propensity to bite.

Or, if someone rolled through a stop sign and struck a pedestrian – that would be negligence because they failed to stop and look for pedestrians in the crosswalk. You get the picture.

Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

In all personal injury claims, whether they involve a car or truck accident, a bicycle accident, a medical malpractice lawsuit, a defective product, or a dangerous property condition, they are all based on negligence – the fundamental principal of a personal injury claim.

To have a valid personal injury claim, the plaintiff (injured party) must be able to prove:

  • The defendant (at-fault party) had a duty to the general public (e.g. a driver), or he or she had a duty to the plaintiff (e.g. the plaintiff was a welcome visitor at a business).
  • The defendant was negligent (careless or reckless) in some way.
  • The plaintiff’s damages were a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.

Are you looking for a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to represent you? Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law for results-driven, client-focused representation!

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