Environmental issues are one of the most important and talked about topics at present. These topics range from climate change, biodiversity preservation, controlling pollution, resource management and many more. Around the world, there is an almost unanimous agreement that the environment needs to be preserved and protected. Hence, there is a united movement towards curbing pollution and environmental damage. In this context, the legal field has also adopted various environment-related innovations. A prime example is the general acceptance of environmental damage as an actionable cause to file personal injury claims.
Personal injury claims arising from environmental damage may come from different sources. Accidents, negligence, and imprudence may cause extensive industrial disasters. Where there are industrial disasters, damage to property, bodily injuries, disabilities, and death invariably follow. In such situations, the court recognizes the right of the people affected to be compensated for their losses. Thus, they can file a personal injury claim connected with the incident.
Similar to any other civil suit, a personal injury claim based on environmental damage must comply with the substantial and procedural requirements provided by law. The first step is to determine who the parties involved in the claim are. This is essential because a court will automatically dismiss a case where the claimant has no actual interest in it. This means that the party who must file is the person actually injured or their heirs. Persons who did not suffer any loss are not allowed to file any claim. Another important aspect to remember is who to sue. This is essential because a person, whether a company or individual, will not be bound by the court decision if he is not named as a defendant. To be safe, it is a good practice to name the company and its officers as defendant.
The next issue to settle is where to file the case, whether in the place where the accident happened, or the place where the company has its office, or where the claimants reside. As a general rule, any of these options can be the proper venue. It all depends on which is the more convenient for the claimant. The kind of court, whether the superior court or lower, is also significant. Some courts have no power to try specific types of cases. These are the preliminary procedural matters and steps to consider in filing personal injury claim related to environmental damage.
Equally critical are the substantive aspects of the case. Personal injury claims of whatever type must comply with two main requisites: negligence and causation. Negligence pertains to the failure of the defendant to act in the manner prescribed by law. It is a violation of their duty to consider the welfare of those around him. Causation refers to the aspect of attribution, whether the defendant was responsible for the act that brought about the loss, damage, or injury. These two are to be proven by evidence presented by the claimant. In any case, hiring an experience and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who specializes in environmental damage would be extremely helpful if you are filing an environmental personal injury claim.
A personal injury lawyer will know both the substantive and procedural aspects of a case and they can adequately guide a claimant through the complex process of an environmental damage personal injury claim.