Can You Pursue An Injury Claim If Something Wasn't An Accident?

21 January 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


When people think about personal injury law, they often focus on accident claims. This may give the impression, however, that negligence is the only reason to pursue a case.

A personal injury attorney will tell you differently, though. You can pursue a claim if an incident wasn't an accident. Let's look at what sorts of cases fit this profile and whether you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer.

When an Injury Isn't an Accident

Broadly speaking, injury law isn't purely about neglect. It is about the duty each of us has in certain situations to not bring harm to others. A reasonable person would expect other folks to try to prevent harm, and they would likely be disturbed by someone actively attempting to harm others. Consequently, the law allows compensation in many of these circumstances.


The most obvious scenario would be an assault. While you might assume an assault is a criminal matter, it isn't exclusively that way. An assaulted person has a right to compensation for their injuries.

Notably, this is so even if the criminal case fails to produce a conviction. The standard of proof is lower in injury law so you might be able to win a civil judgment even if a prosecutor couldn't get a jury to convict a defendant.

Also, you might be able to pursue a claim against a party that was lax with security. Under the theory of negligent security, a claimant may demand compensation if an assault happened because a property owner failed to address known security issues.

Wanton Disregard

This represents something of a gray zone between negligence and deliberate actions. Wanton disregard is when someone willfully ignores known risks and endangers others in the process.

Suppose an amusement park operator kept a ride running because it was a huge money-maker, even though it had caught fire several times before. Failing to shut down the ride and perform sufficient maintenance to prevent another fire would be a form of wanton disregard. The operator deliberately chose to ignore obvious risks. If someone was subsequently injured, they would have a potential claim.

False Imprisonment

Even if a party didn't leave any physical injuries through the process, the act of falsely detaining someone is an intentional and injurious tort. If a retail store's staff wrongly detained an alleged shoplifter, for example, the victim could file an injury claim. This applies even if the staff members wanted to hold the person until the police arrived.

For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer near you.