When someone is injured or even killed, sometimes it is necessary to sue the person, persons or other entity responsible for the injury. Personal injury law is an umbrella for many different injury or accident situations and it provides for the injured person to sue whoever is at fault for those injuries. Personal injury law is also often called tort law.Tort law cases are a civil court matter, not criminal. An accused party may face criminal charges from the same action (or lack of action/negligence), but personal injury law is considered a civil court matter. Civil cases are different from criminal court cases in two major ways: civil court cases like personal injury require less of a burden of proof, and civil penalties come in the form of money damages that are paid to the injured party instead of jail time.
More About Tort Law (Personal Injury Law)
When tort law cases—such as personal injury lawsuits—are presented in court, three criteria must be met for a personal injury case to be proven:
• The plaintiff (injured person) must demonstrate that the defendant was under legal obligation to act in a specific way that would have prevented the injury.
• The plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to uphold the above-described duty.
• The plaintiff must prove that the suffered injuries or loss are a direct result of the defendant’s lack of adherence to the legal obligation.
Tort law is said to serve four objectives: compensate the victim for injuries caused by others; shift the cost of caring for the injuries from the injured to the one who is responsible for the injuries; discourage future careless, risk or negligent behavior on behalf of the defendant; and vindicate legal rights and interests that have been violated by the injurious action.
What Qualifies For Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Personal injury occurs when a person has suffered some form of injury, either physical or psychological, as the result of an accident or medical malpractice, but to be an actionable occurrence, it must come about due to the negligence or unreasonably unsafe actions of a person’s employer, a manufacturer, medical practitioner, landlord, or some other person or organization who owes the public a duty of ordinary care.
There are limits to how long after an alleged injury that personal injury law allows for the defendant to be sued. This is called the statute of limitations. This is one reason it is best to consult an attorney right away so that time does not run out. Another reason is so that the details of the incident are fresh in everyone’s mind and the most accurate testimony can be given at a potential trial.
Examples of personal injury law include, but are not limited to:
Head and Spinal InjuriesMedical Malpractice
Nursing Home Injuries
Product LiabilityRailroad Accidents
Slip and Fall