By Jedidiah McKeehan

During my time as a lawyer I have represented a large number of people on their personal injury cases.  Personal injury cases can be car wreck cases, slip and fall cases or a few other types of cases.

When I have my first meeting with potential personal injury cases I like to go over the two most important parts of a personal injury case with them:  fault and damages.

So in order to have a successful claim against another individual in a personal injury case you need to be able to show that your injury was their fault.  If you are involved in a car wreck, it is very important to show that the wreck was the other driver’s fault.  If you get involved in a wreck and it is determined that the wreck was your fault, then you do not have a good case.  Similarly, if you slip and fall at a store or someone else’s house, you have to be able to prove that you falling was the property owner’s fault.  The fact that you fell is not enough, by itself, to prove that it was the property owner’s fault.

The next part that needs to be present for you to have an actionable personal injury case is damages.  Damages usually come in the form of medical expenses that have been incurred by the injured party.  Sometimes damages can include lost wages and a few other things.  If another driver runs in to you and you are not hurt, while it is terrible that he ran in to you, you are not going to have much of a case if you are not actually injured.

I speak to many people who have one of these two key elements missing from their case.  It is critical to the success of their case that they have both.  You need to be able to show that it was the other person’s fault and that you have damages.

Truthfully, I hope you never have to think about these things, but if you do get in a car wreck or slip and fall somewhere and you are considering legal action, consider whether you can show that your injuries were caused by someone else and that you have actually sustained damages.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.