You just parked your car at the grocery store and you unbuckle your small child from his car seat. He runs to the grocery store doors and ends up burning his feet on the hot blacktop. Can you sue? No, you can’t. In order for you to sue, you must be able to prove two things: liability and damages.
You know your son takes his shoes off all the time. The blacktop will obviously be warmed by the sun. In this situation, you cannot get your personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City to claim damages.
Liability and Damages
For you to be able to sue, you must have both of these things. You cannot sue if you have damages but can’t prove the person or company is liable. Yes, you may have suffered damages from spilling hot soup on yourself but, if the container says “Caution, hot liquid,” the company is not liable. On the other hand, you might know the person who is liable, but you don’t have any physical damages. You still could not sue.
Most people can sue because they were hurt by someone who was negligent. Negligence is when someone fails to take proper care when doing something.
The simplest example is when you drive negligently, like failing to stop at a red light. The other driver could definitely get a lawyer and sue for damages because of the auto accident due to your negligent driving. You have a duty when entering your vehicle to drive safely and abide by the laws of the state you are in.
Waivers and Releases
If you signed a waiver or release in order to participant in an activity, you cannot sue them for damages. You might have agreed to the risk of rock climbing but then your rope broke causing you to fall and break your back. If you signed a waiver stating that you will not sue for damages, you can’t. Your lawyer would tell you that you did suffer personal injury, but you signed away your right to sue.
If you almost got hurt or killed, you cannot sue. Yes, you might have gotten scared by a car getting too close to you but, unfortunately, you cannot sue. “Almost” situations don’t count because they didn’t actually happen.
Knowing when you can and cannot sue is very important. If you think you have suffered a personal injury and believe you can prove liability and damages, please contact your lawyer.