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Why Intentional Injuries Are Worse Than Those from Negligence

injury map

You probably hope you can go through your whole life without sustaining any serious injuries or dealing with any lasting traumas. However, that’s probably not realistic. Life has its ups and downs, and the longer you live, the more likely you will suffer some personal tragedies as well as some dazzling high points.

If something happens to you, and it was no one’s fault, you have to consider it to be pure chance. We’re all unlucky at one time or another. However, the situation feels a little different if it’s someone else who does something to you, and they are clearly at fault.

If they harm you from negligence, you might choose to bring a lawsuit against them if you feel like you have solid grounds. There’s no reason why you can’t receive compensation if the law says you should have it. It’s something completely different, though, if a person or entity harmed you intentionally.

If an individual or entity harmed you purposefully, you’ll probably be much more inclined to hire a lawyer and pursue justice. Let’s examine why most people feel like intentional injuries are far worse than unintentional ones.

What Are Unintentional Injuries?

Unintentional injuries and negligence-caused injuries are essentially the same things. As a lawyer will explain, if you can prove someone was negligent, and that caused your injury or illness, you can hold them liable in court. Still, at least they didn’t go out of their way to hurt you.

One example might be if a doctor harmed you. Medical malpractice suits are difficult to prove sometimes, as you must establish you did not receive the usual care standard. 

If you try to sue a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice, you should think about the limitation statute. For example, in Kentucky, you have just one year to file a lawsuit from the time the individual or entity hurt you, or you learned about the injury.

Another unintentional injury example might be if a vehicle hit you. Maybe the driver was talking on their smartphone and didn’t see you trying to cross the road.

There are also premises liability lawsuits. If you slip and fall down while shopping in a store, you can sue that establishment if they didn’t put up proper signage.

What About Intentional Injuries?

You can also bring a lawsuit against individuals or entities that intentionally harmed you or someone you know. You might bring a sexual assault allegation against someone. You might bring an elder abuse lawsuit against an individual or nursing home.

These are examples of situations where someone knew they would harm you or someone else, and they carried through with the activity anyway. This is a malicious action. The person or entity knew they would cause suffering, and they didn’t deviate from their plans.

Why is One Worse Than the Other?

It’s not hard to understand why society feels intentional injuries are worse than unintentional ones. If someone’s talking on their phone in the car and they hit you, that’s carelessness, and them paying you a court settlement should teach them a lesson. In the future, they will realize their actions can hurt someone else, and they’ll be more careful.

If a corporation creates a product they know can kill people, and they allow it to reach store shelves anyway, that’s egregious behavior. If you bring a wrongful death lawsuit for a relative the product killed, the law should be unforgiving against the corporation that allowed it to reach the public.

Carelessness is bad, but not so much as maliciousness. Most lawyers will agree with that, and so will most juries.

The real issue, though, is in proving wrongdoing. Whether you believe someone acted maliciously or not, you must provide material evidence that supports your assertion. If you can’t produce that evidence, the guilty party will walk.

Remember that even if you get a great lawyer, the at-fault party may do the same. They probably don’t want you to find them guilty, regardless of whether they committed a criminal act on purpose or through negligence.

Whenever you can prove an individual or entity harmed you, either by accident or on purpose, you should try to do it. You can recoup any lost money that way, and you can also get pain and suffering compensation.

Beyond that, you can make society safer. Whether someone harms you on purpose or by accident, if you don’t hold them accountable, they will likely do it again.

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