Accidents that cause injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. It can happen to you or your loved one and oftentimes, it might be due to the negligence of another party. When taking steps toward protecting your or your loved one’s legal rights due to an accident or injury, the first step is to get basic information on “personal injury” cases.
Defining personal Injury cases and personal injury law:
A ‘personal injury’ case is filed when a person suffers harm or injury due to an accident that may have been caused by another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct. A personal injury case is formalized through legal court proceedings that seek to prove others to be legally at fault by means of a court judgment. At times, disputes may be resolved through an informal settlement before both parties bring the matter to court.
Personal injury law is composed of the legal defenses and remedies involved in the civil lawsuit brought about by a personal injury case. This type of case involves a tort action because it involves wrongdoing or harm caused by another person. Within criminal laws, the government prosecutes the wrongdoer.
In a tort action such as the personal injury case, the private plaintiff seeks compensation, usually in the form of money, for the injury or harm caused by the defendant’s actions.
Most personal injury cases are about negligence. Essentially, negligence occurs when somebody does act responsibly and puts others at risk. Negligence may not result in someone getting hurt but responsible citizens must take precautions to ensure that they don’t cause harm upon other people.
Though the doctrine of personal injury also believes in the fact that some accidents are unavoidable, the plaintiff establishes liability by showing a reasonably prudent person to be put in the position of the defendant and how he would have acted responsibly under the same circumstances.
A few examples of negligence commonly seen in personal injury cases include:
Car accidents caused by drunk drivers
Medical complications and consequences that have resulted from the carelessness of a physician
Dog bites due to the owner’s negligence in allowing the dogs to roam around free
In these situations, the party in question has not acted responsibly and ignored the risks posed to other people as a result of their actions (or inaction’s) leading to injury of the plaintiff.
Upon being proven guilty, the defendant is required to pay for all the injuries caused by their wrongdoing or negligence. The court calculates the types of damages incurred. Some of these may be computed easily such as property damage and medical bills. However, intangible types of injuries such as emotional distress and physical incapacity resulting to loss of ability to earn are more complex and requires expert testimonies to assess the cost. There may also be punitive damages to deter and punish the negative conduct.
One issue that can make a tort action challenging is when the tort-feasor or the person who directly harmed the plaintiff, may not be financially capable enough to cover the expenses once the a judge has passed his ruling.
A common way of handling this involves hiring an experienced injury attorney to help you identify and sue other parties who may be equally liable based on their relationship to the tort-feasor. The tort-feasor may be a delivery driver, or a nurse, or a store clerk. An experienced injury attorney will be able to determine other parties who may be liable (such as an employer) or relevant to the personal injury case. In instances like this, the defendant may not have the burden of shouldering compensation and will be in a better position to comply with the penalty and damage requirements caused.
Common torts and defenses:
Aside from negligence, personal injury law may be used in cases of intentional torts where it is proven that the defendant willfully and intentionally caused harm or injury the plaintiff. Common examples of intentional torts include the following:
Infliction of emotional distress
On the other hand, there may be scenarios where defendants are held liable even if they show that they did everything they could to avoid causing harm. This is called strict liability.
The defendant is strictly liable if he causes harm to anybody as he engages in an activity that may be deemed legal and even after taking precautions. Strict liability includes highly dangerous activities such as building demolition or transporting hazardous materials.
Other tort cases involve the use of defective products. Manufacturers are expected to be socially responsible with the products that they produce. Designing or selling an unsafe item that causes harm to its customers is a product liability of the company under the strict liability theory. This type of case has the tendency to become big when the number of plaintiffs increase resulting in enormous financial penalties.
When defendants face a personal injury case, the main course of action is to rely on a few defense theories such as arguing that the plaintiff didn’t act with due care and that they are also partially responsible for their own injury. Defendants may also claim that the plaintiff has assumed the risk of considering the consequences of their actions by voluntarily participating in the activity that caused the injury. The defendant may dispute that the plaintiff has implicitly taken the action which resulted in harming the plaintiff.
With all the common theories that can defend a person’s responsibility for personal injuries, a person needs to consider hiring an expert personal injury attorney to make sure they present their case properly. Be they the plaintiff or the defendant, hiring a lawyer will help gather the necessary documents and file the forms as well as prevent violations caused by late filings of the lawsuit which is common in personal injury cases. An injury attorney can explain your rights and your chances of winning the case. When searching for an attorney, See if they have a proven record in the personal injury cases or law.