Understanding Personal Injury Legal Terms
Most people understand a personal injury case’s basic premise: If someone hurts you, it’s possible for you to sue them for money to cover your damages. Although this is accurate, it unfortunately doesn’t consider the many nuances that are also involved. There are also a great variety of situations, accidents and injury types as well as circumstances impacting the case.
When these things are taken into consideration the law arrives at a new “legal” definition in which these cases allow victims of preventable accidents and injuries to seek legal remedies from the party who’s at fault. These claims are known as “torts,” meaning they’re a civil legal action that’s filed because of an alleged “wrong” (a negligent or wrongful act).
This is a civil claim in which the resolution comes in the form of damages awarded. Herein the liable party (a.k.a. the defendant) pays financial compensation to the injured victim (a.k.a. the plaintiff). This is different from a criminal case in which a sanction or penalty (e.g. fines, probation, incarceration) are handed down to the plaintiff. The financial compensation that’s made here is meant to make the victim “whole.” As such, they typically include payment for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income now and in the future
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- A decreased quality of life
Since each case is unique, many variances in recoverable damages are available to victims. Nevertheless, a standard of negligence always exists, meaning the defendant didn’t uphold their “duty of care” in the given situation.
Negligence, Fault and Liability
The negligence can also vary case by case. Typically, this is defined as failure to exert reasonable caution. Some examples here include:
- Motorists are responsible for ensuring the safe operation of their vehicle. An example of a breach of this would be texting. This person would then be liable for any injuries they’ve caused by texting while driving.
- Medical professionals are obligated to act in accordance with their profession’s standards. Failure to do so is a breach of duty by which they’re liable for damages.
- Property owners are responsible for anyone who’s on their property. As such they must address any potential hazards they know about or else be held liable.
Besides negligence, these claims can also be filed on such things as defectiveness, dog bites, and sometimes even assault and battery. Clearly, there’s a far-reaching scope here but as long as there are liability and damages (a real injury must have been suffered resulting in some type of loss) involved, there’s a personal injury case.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Some of the most common types of personal injury cases today include:
- Motor vehicle accidents resulting in otherwise preventable injuries
- Consumer products (e.g. medication, auto parts, medical devices) that have been defectively, manufactured, designed, or marketed
- Work-related injuries including trauma, occupational diseases caused by exposure to certain environments and construction-related accidents
- Injuries occurring on another person’s property that could have been prevented if hazardous conditions didn’t exist.
When you believe that you have a personal injury case on your hands, you should seek out the advice of a lawyer who specializes in these areas of the law. Their targeted focus on injuries and wrongful deaths has helped them cultivate both the experience and the resources necessary for effectively handling many different types of situations, standards, and types of cases that all exist within this complex area of practice. They’re able to provide you with the support and guidance you need to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. So, whether you have questions about personal injury law or want to discuss a potential claim, contact the Rojas Law Group.