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When you sustain a personal injury, whether through a car accident, slip and fall or trip and fall, you can make a civil claim for damages.

A civil claim is made by bringing a lawsuit against the party at fault for the injuries that you have sustained.  In order to be successful in bringing a civil claim, in any case, there are two things that must be established:

  1. Liability
  2. Damages 


Liability refers to “fault”.  Put another way, to prove liability you must establish that the other party has done something wrong or fallen below the legally acceptable standard of care in relation to their obligation to you.  For example, in a car accident, to be successful in making a claim against another driver who is involved in the accident with you, the other driver must have done something wrong or be proven to be at fault for the accident.  It is only once liability is established that a claim can be brought against another party.

When making a claim against the at-fault party, you are generally making a claim against the individual or the company.  However, it is the insurance company for the individual or the company that will respond to your claim.


Damages have to do with the losses you have sustained a result of injuries suffered in an accident.  There are a number of different categories or “heads” of damages which can be claimed, depending on the individual, their circumstances at the time of the accident, their age, their employment status, their family status, health, etc.

Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions regarding an ongoing or potential personal injury claim.

Lesly Joseph

Associate with the Personal Injury and Litigation Group

Disclaimer: This article is an information resource. It is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional. You should not rely on this article when making legal decisions. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this document before making decisions. Any use of this document does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship.

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