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Negligence FAQs

What kind of attorney handles negligence cases?
Attorneys who focus their practice on negligence cases will typically refer to themselves as “personal injury,” “accident,” “defective product,” or “malpractice” attorneys.  The term “personal injury attorney” is most commonly used.

What does “causation” mean?
“Causation” means that “but for” the defendant’s act or failure to act, when there was a duty to do so, injury would not have occurred.  In other words, because the defendant did something (or failed to do something he or she should have done), someone was injured.

What financial compensation can an injured person receive if negligence is proven?
The goal of negligence law is to make the injured person whole; meaning, to put the injured person back in the position he or she would have been but for the defendant’s negligent act.  Courts can’t turn back the hands of time and prevent injuries from occurring, so they provide financial compensation in the best attempt to make up for injuries.
Injured persons can recover lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering damages.  If the act that caused injury is particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded as a punishment. 
The spouses and families of injured persons can receive financial compensation as well, in the form of all of the above if the injured person died (i.e. wrongful death), and through loss of consortium claims for losses suffered due to a strain in the relationship

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