There are three components to a personal injury claim. First, another person must act carelessly. Secondly, there must be an injury. Third, the injury must be a result of the carelessness of the wrongdoer. Occasionally, a client will call and describe a circumstance similar to the following:
"I was driving down the street and a car crossed the center line and was heading right towards me but immediately before striking me he swerved back into his lane and avoided me. He could have killed me."
In that situation the client correctly described carelessness. The other driver crossed the center line. Whether it is going through a red traffic signal, crossing the center line or a doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc. going through a "professional judgment red light." Anyone who goes through a "red light" by not behaving reasonably and within the standard of care, was careless or, to use the legal word, negligent. However, if no harm was caused then no claim for compensation can exist. Accordingly, in the example of the person that "almost" caused an injury, the negligence of the individual would go unpunished under civil law because there was "no harm, therefore, no foul". Had the person who went through the red light struck the motor vehicle in which our client was a passenger then we would have to determine if the person was injured as a result of the impact.
by Ira Sherman