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The General Criteria Victims Should Meet for a Valid Personal Injury Claim


You will not be automatically entitled to compensation merely because you have injuries to prove. The party you’ve accused of being liable for your injury may fight back (as they are legally permitted to do). As the victim, you must meet specific criteria for your claim to be heard in court.

Even if you understand the criteria, meeting them alone can be overwhelming. You need a personal injury lawyer who understands what it takes to prove liability in court. You need someone who has previously walked this journey and emerged victorious.

Criteria for Having a Valid Personal Injury Claim

Here are some of the criteria that a personal injury victim and their lawyer have to prove in order to maximize their chances of compensation.

Duty of Care

Duty of care is not a written contract but rather a legal principle governing how persons and entities should interact in order to prevent causing harm to others. You can say it’s an invisible agreement we all make when we enter the world.


The law does not expect perfection from us. It asks the question, “Would a reasonable person in the same situation have acted differently?” This standard covers a wide range of scenarios.

For example, a property owner is not required to have a snow shovel on hand in July. Still, during a winter storm, they have a duty of care to remove snow and ice within a reasonable timeframe to prevent injuries.

Breach of Duty

Not all accidents result in a legal claim. It must be clearly demonstrated that the party accused of causing the accident violated their duty of care. They must have violated their invisible contract in a way that was below the required level of behavior. For example, a driver who runs a red light clearly violates their duty to respect traffic laws.

Similarly, a restaurant owner who fails to pick up a spilled drink on the floor, leading a customer to slip and fall, has failed to uphold their responsibility to provide a safe workplace.

It can be difficult to determine if the at-fault party was directly involved in this breach of duty. You should leave that to your attorney. They know the right strategies to reveal their negligence to the court.


Imagine you slip and fall on a wet floor, but X-rays reveal a pre-existing fracture that caused the fall, not the wetness.

For your claim to be valid, there must be a direct connection between the at fault party’s negligence and the injury you suffered.

For example, if you sprain your ankle after tripping on a broken sidewalk caused by the property owner’s negligence, the owner’s inaction was directly responsible for your injury. In a clear-cut circumstance like this, your claim is easily accepted as valid.


A personal injury claim seeks compensation, or what is reasonable, for the harm you have suffered. This injury can include financial consequences, such as medical bills, or lost pay if you are unable to work. It can also refer to things that are more difficult to quantify, like pain or fear.

The severity of your injuries and the consequences for your life have a direct impact on the possible value of your claim. Your lawyer will examine your issue to determine its scope, and then assist you in determining an appropriate compensation amount.

Statute of Limitations

Every state has a deadline for filing a personal injury case, known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this date, you will likely be unable to seek compensation. These dates can vary greatly. Some states offer you one year, while others may give you two, even four years.


The important thing is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible following your injuries. They can assist you in understanding and grasping your state’s specific deadline and ensure that you receive all you are entitled to.

Shared Fault

Some states have laws known as “comparative fault laws.” This means that if you were partially to blame for the accident that injured you, your compensation may decrease.

For example, suppose you were jaywalking when a car hit you. The motorist was largely to blame, yet you could be held partially responsible for illegally crossing the street.

In a state that follows comparative negligence, the amount you receive from the driver may be lowered by a tiny percentage because you too have some of the guilt.


Accidents are some of the curveballs that life throws at us. If these accidents happened because someone else was being negligent, you do not have to shoulder the costs of them alone.

The law requires you to meet certain criteria before your personal injury claim is considered viable. You may not understand what these requirements are or how to demonstrate them effectively. But your lawyer does. Let them handle the process on your behalf.