Personal Injury Law

Personal injuries are damages that occur to an individual’s body or mind due to the negligence or fault of another person. Personal injuries include physical damage, mental anguish, loss of earnings, loss of future earning potential, pain, and suffering. Some injuries may be permanent. They can be caused by accidents, medical malpractice, negligent behavior, defective products, or even intentional harm.

What Is the Legal Definition of Personal Injury?

The law defines personal injury as anything that causes damage to someone else’s body, such as a broken bone, or something that harms someone’s mental health, such as a stroke. This includes physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains, and emotional injuries like depression, anxiety, and stress.

Personal injury law covers all types of accidents, whether they are caused by negligence or intentional acts. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, like diminished quality of life.

How Do Personal Injury Cases Work?

Personal injury law is a form of tort law that deals with injuries to your person or property. In a tort case, it matters who was at fault in an accident and the degree to which they were at fault. A tort plaintiff has to prove either that the injury was due to negligence on the defendant’s part, or that the defendant is strictly liable for the damage, or that it was an intentional tort. Let’s examine these legal terms.

Negligence is a commonly used term in tort law. People are expected to exercise ordinary care when they act, meaning their actions and their subordinates’ actions do no harm to others. In a personal injury case, the law compares the behavior of the person who caused the accident to the behavior of an imaginary reasonable person who is put in the same situation.

If someone exercises less than ordinary care or acts unreasonably, and you are injured as a result, then that person was negligent. Someone does not have to intentionally cause harm to be negligent. But a finding of negligence in court can allow recovery of monetary damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Conversely, someone who proves that they took ordinary care to prevent an injury may not be negligent or liable for monetary damages.

Intentional torts are personal injuries where the person at fault acted intending to cause harm. These torts include battery, assault, libel, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A showing of negligence is not required here. The person who caused the accident can be liable for compensation and punitive damages. This serves as an additional financial incentive not to intentionally harm others.

Suppose more than one party is sued in a tort case. In that case, each party is usually only liable for damages in proportion to their own fault for the injury. Atlanta has a rule of modified contributory negligence, where if an injured party is more than 50% responsible for the accident, they cannot recover damages.

What Is Strict Liability?

Strict liability cases do not require a finding of negligence to recover monetary damages. Products liability is an example of a strict liability case. It is a unique area of law because any party in the production chain can be held liable for defects. You can sue anyone involved in the manufacturing chain for the product, including the company that made the parts, the manufacturer, the product designer, and the store.

Suppose you were injured while using a product in Los Angeles. In that case, you do not have to prove the product manufacturer in Miami was negligent. It would be difficult for you to supervise the manufacturer’s factory to determine if they are not operating reasonably. Such a showing is not necessary for product liability. You only have to prove that the product you used was defective when it was sold and that the product was the proximate cause of the injuries, meaning if it wasn’t for your use of the defective product, you would not have been injured.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer helps you recover damages for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Personal injury lawyers are experts at finding out who was responsible for causing your accident and then negotiating with them on your behalf. Because personal injury law is set by each state, consult a personal injury expert in a city near you to get the best advice about your unique circumstances.

Do Personal Injury Cases Often Go to Trial?

Most of the time, personal injury claims do not go to trial. Insurance companies usually prefer settling out of court. This is cheaper and faster from their perspective.

Sometimes it is possible to resolve the claim on your own. However, get legal help if your injuries are serious. In New York, serious injuries include:

  • Death
  • Loss of limbs
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Significant scarring
  • Fractures
  • Permanent loss or significant limitation of bodily function
  • Inability to perform usual and customary activities following the accident

If the insurance company is not cooperating with you, claims that you are at fault, or denies your medical care, or if the person who is at fault is using an attorney, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer of your own so that you do not make any mistakes that limit the value of your claim.

Speak with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills, and other complications. Before taking legal action or trying to negotiate a settlement on your own, you should talk to an attorney about your case. You can search LawInfo’s legal directory to find a local personal injury attorney to discuss the merits of your case. This one step can level the playing field, help you protect your rights, and put you in the best position for recovering the compensation that you deserve.

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