Chances are that at some time in your life, maybe (but hopefully not) even a few occasions, you will experience something bad, some kind of harm that you didn’t cause, that makes you ask this question. Do I have a case?
You may not consider yourself to be a litigious person. Maybe you’ve tried to put the issue to rest in your mind. But something won’t let you. Maybe it’s chronic pain. Maybe it’s piling medical bills. Or the inability to enjoy something you used to do. Whatever it is, you’ve been wronged, and it just feels like justice hasn’t been done.
Do you have a case?
Before the last decade or so, chances are you’d never heard the word tort. Now it’s typically combined with reform and the subject of highly politicized wrangling and expensive lobbyist-funded PR campaigns. But a tort in the American justice system is a simply civil wrong that can be addressed by the awarding of damages.
Some torts are obvious because they are intentional. Assault, battery, fraud, trespass, and intentional infliction of emotional distress are all examples. Most torts, though, in the U.S. come down to some issue regarding a concept called negligence. Negligence is essentially a failure to act according to some prescribed or recognized level of care. The elements include:
- a duty that is expected of a person to act in a certain way
- breach of, or failure to meet, that duty
- causation (and not remotely) of damages by the person breaching
- damages sustained by the other person, which can be ascertained
If you’re asking the above question—whether you have a case—you’ve sustained damages. If you can identify and believe you can prove who caused the damages, you’re halfway there.
Duty is not as daunting a task more here to show as it might seem. All it means is how a reasonable person would be expected to act under the circumstances.
Did the person who ran into you run a red light? We all have a duty to obey traffic signals. Did the restaurant where you slipped and fell have a wet floor with no sign to indicate that hazard? Businesses have a duty to prevent and warn of accidents caused by their actions or failures to act. Was the truck that struck your car being operated by someone who had gone 36 hours without sleep, had been drinking alcohol, or was texting while driving? As you can see, duties abound in our civilized and regulated society.
I Think I Have a Case—What Do I Do?
If you have been hurt and you think you might have a case, don’t wait. There are laws called statues of limitation that may severely limit the amount of time in which you can bring a lawsuit to recover damages.
Call Hotz and Associates today. Our professional and experienced attorneys can help you determine if you do have a case and get you quickly on the road to realizing the justice you deserve.