What is Personal Injury Law? Personal injury law refers to the legal remedies and defenses involved in civil lawsuits brought as a result of wrongful conduct. In fact, the word “tort” comes from a Latin term meaning twist, wrong, or harm. In contrast to criminal law, a tort action does not involve the government prosecuting the wrongdoer. Rather, these cases involve a private plaintiff seeking compensation (usually money) for the harm caused by the defendant’s actions. Most personal injury cases are based on the doctrine of negligence. In essence, negligence requires every member of society to act responsibly and avoid putting others at risk. That is not to say that negligence will result each time someone gets hurt. The doctrine recognizes that some accidents are unavoidable. To establish liability, the plaintiff must show that a reasonably prudent person in the defendant’s position would have acted differently under the circumstances. Examples of negligence include car accidents caused by drunk drivers, medical complications resulting from a physician’s carelessness, and dog bites that occur when vicious animals are permitted to roam free. In each instance, the responsible party ignored the risk posed to others, and as a result, the plaintiff was injured. Once negligence has been established in a personal injury case, the defendant must pay the plaintiff for all injuries caused by the defendant’s actions. Certain types of damages are easy to calculate, such as property damage and medical bills. For other types, such as emotional distress and loss of earning capacity, expert testimony may be required. Punitive damages, meant to punish and deter particularly egregious conduct, may also be available. When initiating a tort action, identifying the proper defendants can be difficult. This is because the “tortfeasor” who directly harmed the plaintiff – be it a delivery driver, nurse, grocery store clerk, or other individual – may not have the financial resources to pay a large judgment. An experienced injury attorney can identify and sue additional parties who are liable based on their relationship to the tortfeasor, such as a landlord or employer. Common Torts and Defenses Personal injury law encompasses a number of causes of action besides negligence. Many of these fall under the umbrella of intentional torts. As the name suggests, in these situations the defendant acts purposefully to harm the plaintiff. Examples include assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass, theft, and infliction of emotional distress. On the opposite end of the tort spectrum, there are scenarios in which defendants will be liable even though they did everything possible to avoid causing the harm. This is referred to as strict liability. The law will hold a defendant strictly liable if someone is hurt while the defendant is engaging in a highly dangerous activity, even if the activity is legal and all precautions are taken. Building demolition and transporting hazardous materials fall into this category. Another common tort involves injuries caused by defective products. Liability in these cases can be imposed based on a theory that the manufacturer acted negligently by designing and selling an unsafe product. Or, if certain elements are met, plaintiffs hurt by a defective product may be able to sue under a strict liability theory. Either way, product liability cases have the potential to become large class action lawsuits, involving many plaintiffs and enormous money judgments. To defend against personal injury liability, defendants tend to rely on a few common defense theories. In negligence cases, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff did not use due care, and is partially or wholly responsible for his or her own injury. The defendant may also claim that the plaintiff “assumed the risk” by voluntarily participating in a dangerous sport or activity, or that the plaintiff impliedly gave the defendant permission to take the action that ended up harming the plaintiff. Plaintiffs who want to avoid losing a tort case based on such arguments should hire legal counsel. Retaining an attorney will also help avoid the unfortunate circumstance of violating a statute of limitations (that is, missing the deadline for filing the lawsuit), which is always a concern in personal injury cases. Copyright HG.orgContent 10/10
Know your Rights!
- 10 Important Questions for Your Personal Injury AttorneyAccidents rarely come with any forewarning, leaving most victims unprepared and unsure of how to proceed. When you or someone you know is injured, you will have a lot of uncertainty and need to make a lot of decisions very quickly. You should always seek immediate medical attention for any injuries and also seek the assistance of qualified, experienced legal representation. But, how do you know who the best attorney is for your case?
- How Are Damages Established in a Tort Claim?The goal of damages in tort actions is to make the injured person “whole” through the award of money to compensate for injuries caused by the accident or incident.
- I Was Given Bad Advice About Fitness or Nutrition, What Can I Do?I recently spoke to a friend, who is a personal trainer, about diet and exercise. Her advice, while well-intentioned, was wildly off-base from a scientific standpoint. This got me to wondering, what if I had taken her advice to heart and suffered a loss? Would the consequences of choices I made about diet and exercise be mine alone or would she have some liability for her inaccurate assertions?
- Injured at the Beauty Salon, What Should I Do?Everyday, millions of women have various services performed at beauty salons. Hair cuts, dying, threading, manicures and pedicures, massages, and a host of other services are now available. While one rarely thinks about it, though, beauty salons are actually very dangerous environments. So what should you do if you are injured at the beauty salon?
- Sports Injury LawsBut what happens if an injury occurs as a result of a deliberate hit or someone acts so recklessly that injury is almost certain to occur?
- What is Negligence?One can only bring a lawsuit for negligence if they can establish all four of the required elements. If any one of the elements is missing, then there is no negligence from a legal standpoint, and a lawsuit cannot be sustained.
- What is the Economic Loss Doctrine and How Does it Apply to My Case?If you have been involved in a product liability dispute (or some other types of cases), your attorney may have mentioned that your claim is subject to the “economic loss doctrine” or the “economic loss rule.” That could leave you asking what that is and when it applies.
- What to do After a Bike AccidentFirst, the rider must try to keep his or her cool. What you do in the immediate aftermath of any accident, including a bike accident, may have a big impact on how much you recover for your injuries and damage to your bike. It may also affect the outcome of any lawsuits resulting from the accident.
- What to Do after a Personal InjuryThe moments following an accident or other injury are confusing and overwhelming. You may not know what to do or where to turn if you or a loved one has been injured due to someone’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Personal Injury Case Handbook
- Personal Injury Case HandbookDo you have a Personal Injury Case? This information will help you understand your legal issue and what to do.
Articles About Personal Injury Law
- Man Freed from Prison after His Doppelganger Is FoundAfter serving 17 years in prison for a 1999 robbery he adamantly denied committing, a Kansas City man is now free. What is particularly surprising about this case, however, is the reason for his freedom: he alleges his doppelganger may have actually committed the crime.
- Slip And Fall AccidentsPremises liability is the legal concept that allows an individual to file a claim against a property owner for injuries they sustain as a result of the property owner’s negligence. Establishing liability in a slip and fall accident case can be challenging, as the burden of proof falls upon the injured party.
- Gathering Evidence to Support a Personal Injury ClaimA personal injury claim cannot be successful without evidence to support it. This is because personal injury claims hinge on the issue of negligence. If the claimant cannot prove that their injury and resulting damages are the direct result of another party’s negligence, the alleged negligent party cannot be held liable and thus be required to compensate the victim for their damages.
- Explosions in the WorkplaceExplosions in the workplace are very serious accidents that can cause extensive injuries to those within the radius of the blast. They often trigger other accidents such as secondary explosions, fires, or structural damage that can harm other workers who were not near the original explosion.
- Liability for Dog Bites in CaliforniaWith over 4.5 million dog bites a year and 800,000 medical visits annually in the United States, the potential for liability is particularly worrisome to dog owners, especially with certain breeds. It is also problematic for those of us that share the walking paths, parks or city sidewalks with these pets. Learn more about what to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog in California.
- Death Benefit Claim Under California Workers Compensation LawWhen an accident happens at work that results in the death of the employee or an injury arising out of and in the course of employment causes death, the employee’s dependents have a right to file a California workers compensation law claim for death benefits.
- Expert Witness Testimony in Interpretation of Building Code CasesBuilding codes may require some interpretation for cases where someone has been injured or killed. This means an expert witness in building codes is hired usually to assist with testimony and an understanding about this bit of evidence for the claim.
- Will Recent Court Opinion Place New Limits on Construction Scaffold Law?According to a recent, yep sharply divided, opinion issued by the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court — employers may not be automatically liable for injuries when construction workers suffer falls on the worksite.
- Using an Expert Witness to Establish Damages in Business Defamation CaseIf defamation has occurred against a business, it may take steps to recover damages for the harm done to its reputation. An expert witness may be able to provide information about the availability of damages and the extent of damages. This information may be shared with the business as part of a consultation or as testimony provided during court.
- Trampoline Park Accidents and the Park’s LiabilityAccording to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, children under the age of six should not be permitted to use trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against the use of trampolines by children altogether.
- All Tort and Personal Injury Law ArticlesArticles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Tort and Personal Injury including: animal bites, asbestos mesothelioma, back and neck injury, bicycle accident, birth injury, brain injury, burn injuries, catastrophic injuries, construction accidents, construction injuries, defamation, libel and slander, defective products, industrial injuries, mass tort, negligence, nursing home abuse, pedestrian accident, personal injury, premises liability, product liability, sexual abuse, slip and fall, spinal cord injury, torts, toxic mold, toxic torts, workplace injuries and wrongful death.
Personal injury can happen to everyone, even those who are too careful. Good thing that there are personal injury lawyers in New York that can help victims serve justice to their offenders. They will build the case and represent your rights to get what is due to your suffering and lost wages. HG Personal Injury law best describes torts: