Personal injury law is designed to protect you if long-term or short-term damage results from another person’s negligence. It helps provide compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if it arises due to someone else’s negligent act or omission. In the typical case, there is incidental contact with another person in a public place, which results in an injury. This is the kind of personal injury that most people are familiar with when they hear the term “personal injury.” Those who found themselves involved in a car accident, for instance, quickly think of the police report and how class action lawsuits are handled.
Personal injury laws are also often applied to the long-term damage that arises as a result of work-related injuries. If your employer does not provide you with the proper safety equipment or does not have a working system that ensures your own personal safety during the course of your work, you could suffer from serious health damages that require expensive medical treatment. There are many other types of personal injury that might result from long-term or short-term damage.
If you want to learn more about the personal injury laws that apply to your case, refer to this link to consult with a personal injury law firm that is up to date with all the current laws.
Personal injury law covers any situation in which the following occurs:
- Physical, Mental or Reputational Injury:
Physical injury can include both short-term and long-term damage that arises as a result of ongoing trauma, usually inflicted through the use of force against a person or as a result of contact with a harmful substance. Mental injury refers to any kind of pain, suffering, or stress that arises from an act or omission against the interests of an individual.
- Wrongfully Caused:
In most instances of personal injury, an individual must be the subject of a negative action that was caused by another person or entity through an unlawful act or omission. These four factors must all be present for a case to be considered wrongful.
- Everyday Situations—Negligence:
Sometimes a personal injury is the result of someone’s negligence. Negligence happens when one person or entity takes an action that was not called for, was excessive or did not adhere to accepted standards of care. It refers to acts considered so dangerous that no normal person could perform them and still be considered reasonable in their performance.
- Special Situations—Recklessness:
In most instances of personal injury, an individual must have been harmed by someone they knew. This is true even when the party at fault was an absolute stranger, as in the case of a hit-and-run accident. In these cases, any risk to one’s person must have been taken with reckless indifference to the well-being of the victim and could be considered willful if the party responsible had knowledge that his or her actions would result in harm to another person.
- Intentional Injurious Acts:
In addition to being caused by negligence or reckless indifference, many personal injuries happen with malicious intent, as in the case of a mugging or robbery. This is rarer than accidental personal injuries, but the resulting damages for victims can be devastating nonetheless. This often happens in situations of workplace violence and domestic abuse.
- Defective Products—Strict Liability:
If you have suffered an injury as a result of using a defective product, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the entity that made or sold the product. You do not have to prove that it caused any kind of negligence. Understandably, in most cases, this kind of personal injury will result in compensation for physical injuries, but it could also include compensation for mental and reputational harm if it was caused by a dangerous or defective product.
- Compensable Damage:
In many cases, the damages are not so easy to calculate. The damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There are many different ways to calculate these types of damages. However, there is no correct answer or right way to go about it. Some personal injury lawyers will come back with a “standard” amount of compensation that they feel is fair for what was lost. However, your injury lawyer should be able to provide you with sound advice on how to determine the actual amount that you should receive in compensation.
- Diminished Value:
This is a difficult concept to understand and is often misunderstood. If the damage to your property has resulted from an accident, it will most likely be worsened as a result of the accident. This means that the level of value, or worth, of your property, will have decreased due to the accident. The damages are calculated by comparing the current worth of your property with what it would have been worth if you had been injured by someone else and not another person.
In the United States, personal injury cases are handled by individual states. Every state has laws regarding how personal injury cases are processed, and there can be a great deal of difference from one state to another. Most states use a county-level court system with a venue system that relies on the location of the plaintiff about where the incident occurred. The American Bar Association publishes a handbook containing information regarding each state’s particular personal injury laws, as well as any recent changes made to those laws.