Personal injury involves civil law cases where you are trying to get compensation for an injury you sustained.
The fact that mishaps are fairly common does not detract from the pain and confusion that can result when an accident or injury happens to you or a loved one.
Physical injuries could arise from:
- a car accident (whether or not you were driving)
- a railroad accident
- airline or other common carrier accident
- a construction or other workplace accident
- being injured as a result of a dangerous or otherwise unsafe product
- slip and fall injuries
- other injury-causing situations.
However, personal injuries don’t even necessarily have to be physical; they could be psychological.
Psychological personal injuries are typically caused by psychological trauma associated with life-threatening and/or disfiguring physical injuries, or as a result of witnessing trauma in others, or following personal escape from serious injury following a traumatic event.
Before you can collect an award, your personal injury lawyer will have to prove that the defendant is liable. To prove liability, the attorney must also establish negligence.
If there is any failure on your part to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury or damage then there may be comparative (or contributory) negligence, where you and the other party both are at some degree of fault. If you win, you may receive money (an award) to compensate for medical costs, lost wages and lost future earnings as well as possibly for pain and suffering and punitive damages.
What is a Tort?
A tort is a civil wrong recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. Torts fall into three general categories:
- intentional torts (e.g., intentionally hitting a person)
- negligent torts (causing an accident by failing to obey traffic rules)
- and strict liability torts (e.g., liability for making and selling defective products).
These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party (tort litigation). While some torts are also crimes punishable with imprisonment, the primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing similar harms. The injured person may sue for an injunction to prevent the continuation of the tortious conduct or for monetary damages. Among the types of damages the injured party may recover are: loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable medical expenses. They include both present and future expected losses.