State College Personal Injury Lawyer
Have you or someone you love been injured? Or is someone claiming that you injured them, and you don’t even know who they are?
An experienced attorney at Nittany Group can help you sort through the complexities of personal injury law today.
Personal injury law usually, (but not always), falls into a category called torts. Torts can be thought of as wrongs against another person that you had a duty to protect. In order for a person to collect compensation under this category of law requires proving four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
In order to sue someone under tort theory, you must first prove that they had some obligation, or duty of care toward you. For example, a business has a certain obligation under the law to ensure that their property is safe for customers. Similarly, a transportation company has a certain obligation to keep their trains or buses or airplanes safe for passengers to travel.
Once duty has been proven, a plaintiff next must prove a breach. You can think of breach as a violation of that duty. If an employee of a business walks by a spill and does not clean up the spill and a customer then slips on the floor and becomes injured, that could be a breach of the business’ duty of care toward the customer. If a transportation company does not repair known damage to safety systems, there may be a breach of it’s duty of care toward passengers if someone becomes injured.
Once the duty of care and the breach has been established, the next thing to prove is that the injury alleged to have occurred was actually and legally caused by the breach. This can be much more complex than initially appears. For example, if someone slipped and fell down in a grocery store a few days ago but now get diagnosed with a heart condition, was the heart condition caused by the slip and fall a few days ago? Maybe? Or if a person suddenly feels headaches and insomnia all the time after traveling in a train with a damaged restraint system, are the headaches and the insomnia caused by the bad safety belt? Maybe. An experienced attorney can help distinguish whether actual and legal cause can be proven in court.
And, finally, damages have to proven. If duty, breach and causation have all been proven, a plaintiff must still prove damages, that there was some negative result that can be converted to certain amount of money to make the situation fair and just.
Call the Nittany Group today to schedule your consultation.