This article shares some great advice from car accident attorneys Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law as to what is personal injury law. Personal injury law is a legal field involving civil lawsuits filed against a negligent person or other entity, such as a business. The term “tort” stems from a Latin word meaning harm or wrongdoing. Unlike criminal law, a tort does not involve government punishment of a wrongdoer. Instead, the at-fault party is held responsible by a court of law on behalf of the wronged person. The punishment is usually enacted in the form of a requirement to pay the victim or plaintiff a set sum of money.
Most personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence. The doctrine of negligence requires a violation of the societal obligation that each person has to avoid causing harm to others. Negligence may not lead to harm in every instance, and some accidents are impossible to avoid. This makes it more difficult to show that a defendant acted negligently. In order to establish liability for injury, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted in a way that a reasonable person would not have.
Negligence includes accidents caused by drunk drivers, injuries caused by careless doctors and dog bites that occur under the watch of an owner that does not properly restrain his or her animals. Each of these cases involves a party that ignored his or her responsibilities, resulting in injury to another person. Once your personal injury lawyer establishes that the other party acted negligently, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and any other types of damages you sustained because of the accident. Property damage and medical bills are easier to calculate in terms of monetary compensation than emotional distress and lost future wages. A judge may also require the defendant to pay punitive damages if the negligence was extreme.
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In the field of personal injury law, identifying defendants is often difficult. There may be a chain of command involved in some cases, such as an employee who left out dangerous equipment under a lack of supervision by a manager, who in turn answers to the owner of the establishment. It takes an experienced personal injury lawyer to identify and sue all responsible parties, such as landlords, employers and others who acted negligently in some manner related to your accident.
Personal injury law covers many factors in an accident besides negligence. Intentional torts involve acts that were perpetrated with the intent to harm the victim. Assault, battery, trespassing and harassment are examples of intentional harm that may warrant compensation. In some cases, a defendant may be liable for damages even if he or she did everything possible to avoid an accident. Such cases fall under strict liability laws, which hold a defendant who is engaged in a dangerous activity responsible for any damages that occur. Building demolition is an example of a case where strict liability is at play.
Defective products are another common area of personal injury law. In these cases, liability is determined based on the idea that the manufacturer was negligent when it sold unsafe products. In some defective product cases, defendants can gather together to form a class action lawsuit and split the judgment among themselves.
Personal injury defense requires the use of multiple defense theories. In a negligence lawsuit, the defendant’s attorney will typically argue that you were at least partially responsible for your own injury. The defense may also claim that you assumed risk by participating in a dangerous activity, or that you gave permission for the defendant to engage in the activity that resulted in your injury. In order to properly counter these defenses, you may benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer who can strategize on your behalf.
Dealing with an injury is difficult enough on its own without facing defense counsel and trying to file a lawsuit by yourself. Working with a qualified attorney can take a significant amount of stress off your shoulders while you focus on recovering from your injuries. A lawsuit may provide compensation not only for your immediate damages such as property damage and medical expenses but lost wages and future earning potential as well. You may also be eligible for punitive damages, which take into account your pain and suffering.
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