Slate’s Law Blog

Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you have been seriously injured in an accident or as a result of another party’s fault, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. Yet filing a personal injury claim can be complicated, and it can be difficult to understand with certainty the elements of your claim that you will need to prove in order to be eligible to obtain financial compensation for your losses. Generally speaking, the elements you will need to prove will depend upon the theory of liability under which you are bringing your lawsuit. The theory of liability will depend upon how the injury happened and who is responsible for your losses. Our experienced New Mexico personal injury attorneys will provide you with more information.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Based on a Theory of Negligence

Many injury lawsuits are based on a theory of negligence. What this means is that the plaintiff does not need to prove that the defendant intended to cause any harm, but rather that the defendant’s act or omission is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. While there are some distinctions and particularities based on the particular type of personal injury lawsuit, including how and where the accident occurred, the general elements of a negligence claim that a plaintiff must prove under New Mexico law include the following:

  • Defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  • Defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by failing to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances;
  • Plaintiff suffered an injury; and
  • Defendant’s negligent act or omission was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

Filing an Injury Lawsuit Based on Strict Liability

While personal injury lawsuits are typically not based on strict liability, many product defect lawsuits are brought according to a theory of strict liability. Rather than being required to prove negligence, the plaintiff only must prove that the defendant designed, manufactured, or marketed the defective product and that the product caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Intentional Torts and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Some personal injury lawsuits are based on intentional torts. In these types of cases, the basis for the claim is that the defendant intentionally caused harm to the plaintiff. While it is essential to seek advice from an injury lawyer about filing an intentional tort claim, the elements of this type of lawsuit typically require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant intended to cause harm, acted in a manner so as to cause harm, and actually caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Contact Our New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico, or if you have questions about the elements you will need to prove in order to win your lawsuit, one of our experienced Santa Fe personal injury attorneys can speak with you today about your case. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about the evidence you will need to gather in order to prove the required elements of your lawsuit. Contact Slate Stern Law today to learn more about how we can assist you.