Personal injury law, also referred to as tort law, is intended to protect you after you were harmed by someone else’s actions. Personal injury cases can be resolved in two ways: settlements or in court. The purpose of filing a personal injury case is to be compensated financially after suffering losses as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Basis of a Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case requires showing that another party’s actions caused you harm. A personal injury lawyer will investigate your case and gather information to prove the following:
- Duty of care – Duty of care refers to the legal responsibility one person has to avoid causing harm to another. Did the defendant owe you a duty, such as driving safely or ensuring their property was free of hazards?
- Breach of duty – How did the defendant violate their duty of care? Did they get behind the wheel while intoxicated or fail to clean up a spill?
- Causation – Did the actions or inactions of the defendant cause your injuries?
- Damages – Did you suffer damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering?
What Cases Fall Under Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law applies to many situations, such as car accidents, intentional acts, and defective product injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help answer questions and provide legal options regarding your case.
- Car, truck, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents are common personal injury cases. A careless or negligent driver can be held financially responsible for your injuries and damages from the accident.
- Slip-and-falls are another type of common personal injury accident case. Property owners have a legal duty to ensure their property is safe so that others are free of harm. The facts of the situation will determine whether the landowner is liable for the injuries that occurred.
- A doctor can be liable for medical malpractice if their failure to meet their industry’s standard of care caused a patient to suffer harm.
An intentional action is one that a person takes with the purpose of causing some sort of harm. Assault and battery are examples of intentional actions that may constitute a personal injury case.
Defective Product Injuries
If the use of a defective vehicle, consumer product, medical device, pharmaceutical, or other product results in harm, the manufacturer or other parties may be liable for the injuries you suffered.
Depending on the state you live in, you may not need to prove negligence. Many states hold manufacturers “strictly liable” for their products, which means you would only need to prove the following:
- You suffered injuries while (or after) using the product;
- The product was the proximate cause of your injuries;
- You were using the product in a way that was “foreseeable” to the manufacturer;
- You did not make any substantial changes to the product once you received it; and
- The product was “unreasonably dangerous” when it was designed, manufactured, or sold.
Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, personal injury law allows you to recover compensation for your losses. There are two types of losses: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are damages based on losses that can be directly measured. Some damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses related to your injuries – It is important to know the full extent of your injuries and the treatment you will need for recovery before filing for medical expenses.
- Past and future income changes – You may have lost wages due to your recovery or an inability to work the same number of hours. Our team will ensure that we include these losses in your demand.
- Property damage – Repair or replacement of your property that was damaged in the accident.
- Household services – Any costs to hire somebody to do things around the house while a victim is recuperating, as long as the services were not a part of the plaintiff’s budget prior to the accident.
Non-economic damages are not as easily assessed. However, they are still important losses that deserve recognition and compensation. Some examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You are also entitled to compensation for any anguish or mental illnesses you suffered as a result of the accident. For example, the trauma of a car accident can cause a survivor to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, which can make recovering from your accident very challenging.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Fight for Your Rights
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, an intentional act, or a defective product, a lawyer from Greenberg Gross can present you with options on how to fight for compensation and move forward after your accident. Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.