Whats Is Personal Injury?
A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who provides legal representation to those who claim to have been injured, physically or psychologically, as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, government agency or other entity.
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.
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.
The fact that mishaps are fairly commonplace does not detract from the pain and confusion that can result when an accident or injury happens to you or a loved one.
If you decide to take steps toward protecting your legal rights after an accident or injury, you may have a number of general questions about "personal injury" cases.
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 in 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.
In the United States, this system is complex and controversial, with critics calling for various forms of tort reform. Attorneys often represent clients on a "contingent fee basis" in which the attorney's fee is a percentage of the plaintiff's eventual compensation, payable when the case is resolved, with no payment necessary if the case is unsuccessful. Typically, a Plaintiff attorney charges 1/3 of the proceeds recovered if a case is settled out of court or 40 percent of the matter must be litigated.
Formal "Lawsuit" Unlike criminal cases, which are initiated by the government, a formal personal injury case typically starts when a private individual (the "plaintiff") files a civil "complaint" against another person, business, corporation, or government agency alleging that they acted carelessly or irresponsibly in connection with an accident or injury that caused harm.
This action is known as "filing a lawsuit". Our discussion on negligence and proof is especially helpful.
Informal Settlement, In reality, most disputes over fault for an accident or injury are resolved through informal early settlement, usually among those personally involved in the dispute, their insurers, and attorneys representing both sides.
A settlement commonly takes the form of negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both sides forgo any further action (such as a lawsuit), choosing instead to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.
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.
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.
Where are the Laws that Govern Personal Injury Cases?
Unlike other areas of the law that find their rules in statutes (such as penal codes in criminal cases), the development of personal injury law has taken place mostly through court decisions, and in treatises written by legal scholars. Many states have taken steps to summarize the development of personal injury law in written statutes, but for practical purposes, court decisions remain the main source of the law in any legal case arising from an accident or injury.