When filing a personal injury lawsuit, the injured must prove that another person was responsible for his or her injuries. That is, the other person must be legally at fault for the injuries suffered.
The idea of personal injury, which is part of tort law, is that if someone is negligent, careless, or exhibits less care than the ordinary person, and this negligence causes an injury to another, that person is legally responsible for paying at least the part of the damages that he or she caused.
In some situations, the injured person was also negligent and partially contributed to his or her own injury. In this case, the defendant’s negligence will be reduced according to the injured person’s own negligence in a comparative negligence scheme. For example, if the injured party was 40% liable and the defendant was 60% liable, the defendant will only have to pay for 60% of the injured party’s damages. In a contributory negligence regime, the defendant is only liable if he or she was 51% or more responsible for the injured party’s damages.
However, the concepts and application of comparative negligence and contributory negligence vary greatly from state to state. For this reason, it is very important that the injured contacts an experienced Hawaii attorney to help navigate the laws and the legal concepts. Moreover, an attorney can properly apportion the appropriate amount of fault to the appropriate defendants.
In general, in personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty of care, and that the breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Finally, the breach had to cause the plaintiff damages. If the plaintiff was negligent, the plaintiff will have to show that the defendant’s negligence caused the injury, or at least partially caused the injury.