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Understanding Calgary Personal Injury Law: Injury

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
June 23, 2015

As explained in previous articles on this site, when a duty of care exists in a certain situation and someone is negligent and fails to live up to that duty of care, there could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. This is true of every personal injury case in Calgary and elsewhere in Canada, and in many other countries whose legal systems evolved from Common Law (which at this point is much of the globe).

These two concepts, however, are not all that have to be present in order for a successful personal injury lawsuit to move forward. As part of our ongoing desire to give those in Calgary and throughout Alberta the best possible legal information in a way non-legal experts can understand, we’re presenting this article on the third central element that must be present in a personal injury case, without which there is no cause of  action in the Calgary area courts.

The Meaning of Injury in Calgary Personal Injury Lawsuits

The word “injury” is fairly common, and its legal definition doesn’t really deviate much from its common use, but it’s still important to understand the legal details around the concept of a personal injury.

In short, any harm done to a person—which includes bodily harm and can include mental/emotional harm, in certain cases—constitutes an injury in the eyes of the law. Technically, “injury” can also refer to a person’s (or business’) dignity or reputation, such that an “injury” can result from libel or slander, and it can also refer to financial “injuries” brought about by a breach of contract or even theft or fraud. In personal injury law, however, the term “injury” refers to harm to a person’s physical and/or mental state; there are often financial consequences of injuries caused and these can also be actionable as losses secondary to the injuries.

Injuries that are grounds for a personal injury suit can also result from purposeful crimes, such as a robbery or assault that results in an injury. If a duty of care exists, and if negligence in living up to that duty results in an injury, then there is likely cause for bringing forth a personal injury claim—assuming the injury is serious enough to warrant the same.

Technically, all injuries that occur due to negligence could be grounds for a lawsuit. Simple scratches and bruises that don’t require medical attention and that don’t lead to long-term pain or other problems are generally not worth the time and trouble of a personal injury lawsuit, and a Calgary judge would likely consider a suit based on such injuries to be a waste of the Court’s time. If you required hospitalization and/or ongoing medical care due to injuries you sustained as a result of someone’s negligence, though, legal action may be warranted.

Call the Calgary Personal Injury Lawyers You Can Trust

While a common sense test is often enough to determine if an injury is serious enough to warrant a lawsuit, it doesn’t hurt to double-check with legal professionals dedicated entirely to plaintiff-side personal injury cases. If you have questions about your potential personal injury case, call Calgary’s trusted injury law firm today.

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