Most injury cases are based on claims of negligence that result in injury, but some cases are based on allegations of intentional injury. In either case, the claimant must show his or her injuries were caused by someone else’s behavior. In some areas, it is not possible to file an injury claim in small claims court even if the damages fall below the state maximum. Before initiating a personal injury claim, a victim should check the state’s rules and jurisdictional limits.
Cases of Mental Distress
A claimant does not have to suffer a physical injury to make a recovery based on another person’s negligent or intentional behavior. Negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress are both based on non-physical injuries and, to support the claim, the other party’s behavior must:
- Violate laws, be negligent, be intended to cause harm, or be done recklessly
- Cause serious or severe emotional distress
The latter element is often the hardest to document in mental distress cases. Proving emotional harm can be very difficult, and the expense is often non-justifiable in a small claims context. However, if a claimant can provide a statement from a therapist or doctor, a Personal Injury Attorney with Alpern Schupert P.C can use it to support courtroom testimony.
If a consumer product malfunctions and causes injury, the victim may recover from the product manufacturer, retailer, or rental agent without documenting the defendant’s negligence. When injuries are severe, product liability claims must be filed in court, but minor injuries involving defective products can be handled in the small claims system. It is best to sue the seller and the manufacturer and to prove that:
- The product actually failed
- The plaintiff used the product as intended
- The injury occurred as a result of usage
Another area of increased small claims growth is workplace sexual harassment, which is against state and federal laws. The small claims process is helpful for those who encounter difficulty finding a Personal Injury Attorney who will take a case of nominal value. Before taking the case to court, the victim must file a complaint with the EEOC or the state equivalent. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.