Personal injury refers to the area of law that seeks to protect victims who are harmed by the action or inaction of another person or entity. Personal injury is also sometimes referred to as tort law. A personal injury claim can be filed for injury incurred by an individual either physically or mentally, and it can sometimes include damage to property. In certain situations, such as in auto accidents or wrongful death cases, a person may bring a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a loved one. Personal injury lawyers seek to win compensation for their clients.
There are two elements in every personal injury case: liability and damages. The first element involves demonstrating that the person or entity being charged did in fact bear legal responsibility for the injury. Damages refers to the extent or amount of injury or loss that was allegedly suffered on account of the defendant’s actions or negligence.
Grounds of Personal Injury Claims
Liability and damages can be established on several bases.
- Negligence – When a case is filed as tort of negligence, the defendant is accused of causing the injury by failing to prevent it. An example would be an accusation that a business allowed a slip and fall injury to occur, by not properly following safety regulations. A reckless or inattentive driver who is at fault in an injury car accident may also be guilty of negligence.
- Strict Liability – Under strict liability, a personal injury attorney may also bring charges against a company whose defective product is responsible for an injury. Strict liability applies whether negligence or malice was involved or not, as long as the product was being used as was intended.
- Intentional Wrong – Intentional wrongs can sometimes be brought as civil, personal injury claims apart from any criminal charges the defendant may be facing.
An attorney experienced in personal injury litigation, or an attorney who specializes in a specific area of personal injury law (such as an auto accident lawyer or a defective product attorney) may advise victims concerning the most appropriate grounds for filing their individual claims.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Although it is not all-inclusive, the following list offers examples of the types of cases that may be considered personal injury claims.
- Slip and fall injury
- Automobile accident
- Defective product injury
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Dog bite case