Car Accidents And Personal Injury: What Constitutes As Negligence?


    A court in Pennsylvania has ruled that a victim’s injury was too minor for a personal injury claim. According to The Legal Intelligencer the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Christian Kitchen, who suffered a bone bruise in a 2008 accident, did not show that his injury had enough of an effect to override the insurance company’s limited tort threshold. According to Kitchen, the injury prevented him from playing sports and joining the U.S. Navy Reserve.

    About 52% of personal injury cases relate to motor vehicle accidents, but not all result in compensation. In Kitchen’s case, he decided to appeal the court’s decision. The Legal Intelligencer reports that he cited the 2013 ruling in Cadena v. Latch, in which the Superior Court ruled that a physical impairment “need not be permanent to be serious.”

    Senior Judge James J. Fitzgerald III said that Kitchen’s injury was minimal, according The Legal Intelligencer, adding that it was “far from enough to classify it as serious impairment of bodily function.”

    What is required to prove negligence?

    This recent case bring the complexity of personal injury cases to light. If you are looking to prove fault in an accident, there are several ways to prove negligence. According to FindLaw, a plaintiff should consider the following four elements of a negligence claim:

    • Duty: This factor shows that the defendant owes legal duty of care to the plaintiff under the circumstances of the accident. Basically, this means that the defendant owed it to the plaintiff to drive safely.
    • Breach: Once it’s determined that the plaintiff owed duty of care, the defendant must prove that they then breached this duty.
    • Causation: This aspect of a negligence claim shows that the defendants actions actually caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
    • Damages: Then this shows that the plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s actions or inactions.

    “Generally speaking, when someone acts in a careless way and causes an injury to another person, under the legal principle of ‘negligence’ the careless person will be legally liable for any resulting harm,” according to FindLaw.

    Let this be a warning to always drive safely — even in your new sports car.