Basics of Personal Injury Law
In the United States, personal injury law falls within the civil law category. This means that individuals who have been wrongfully injured can file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible and seek monetary damages.
The purpose of personal injury law is to provide injured individuals with a mechanism to recover financial compensation for the harm caused by someone else.
Are you the victim of a personal injury and must pursue financial compensation from the person or entity that caused your harm? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates who can help you file an injury claim to ensure you receive the maximum monetary recovery for damages.
Contact our personal injury law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Who Makes Personal Injury Laws: Standing and the Burden of Proof
Under personal injury rules, the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) has the burden of proof. By law, the plaintiff must provide evidence to support their allegations that the defendant's actions resulted in their injuries. This evidence may include witness testimony, medical records, and photos of the accident scene.
The file a personal injury case, the injured party must have "standing," meaning they can prove they suffered damages due to the defendant's negligence or intentional act. Most personal injury cases are dismissed if the judge determines that the plaintiff has no standing involving the case.
Personal injury law covers many accidents and injuries, from car accidents to slip-and-fall accidents to dog bites. Personal injury law generally allows injured parties to file a lawsuit against the person or entity that caused their injuries.
Gaining Monetary Damages Through Civil Proceedings
Personal injury lawsuits are civil proceedings, which means the injured person asks the court to award them monetary damages to compensate them for their injuries. Money damages include economic damages (medical bills, lost earnings, etc.) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.).
To win personal injury-related lawsuits, the plaintiffs must prove that the defendants were negligent and that this negligence caused their injuries.
Negligence means that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. For example, if drivers run a red light and cause an accident, they may be found negligent for not obeying traffic laws.
In some cases, more than one party may be responsible for an accident. For example, if two cars collide in an intersection, both drivers may be found negligent. In these cases, the court will apportion liability between the defendants based on their percentage of responsibility for the accident.
Personal Injury Law Basics
A personal injury lawsuit involves injuries caused by negligence, where negligence is defined as failing to use reasonable care under the situation's circumstances. There are numerous types of personal injury cases, including:
- Auto accident
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Construction accident
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Worker's Compensation
- Wrongful death
The Basics of Personal Injury
In addition to negligence, there are strict liability claims, product liability claims, and others. There are also several different kinds of defendants in a personal injury claim. For example, someone injured while riding in a car could sue the driver, the owner of the vehicle, the manufacturer of the car, and even the seller of the car.
A personal injury lawsuit requires proof of both negligence and harm. Negligence must cause harm. Harm occurs when you suffer physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, or other losses.
The harm includes physical and psychological damages such as broken bones, lost wages, and other costs associated with treatment.
To win a personal injury case, you must establish that the defendant failed to meet their legal obligations to you and that this failure resulted in your injury. To resolve your personal injury issues, you must prove four things:
- Duty – Did the defendant owe the injured person a legal duty? What did they owe you? Was it a general duty to act reasonably or a specific duty to protect you from a particular risk?
- Breach – The defendant breached their duty to the injured person. Did they act negligently or intentionally?
- Harm – Did the breach of the defendant's duty lead to the victim's harm?
- Damages – Can the victim prove their harm in a court of law to recover damages?
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injuries are among the most common type of legal claims and include injuries sustained during accidents such as construction site falls slip and fall accidents, premises liability accidents, falling object accidents, construction accident injuries, work accident injuries, wrongful death accidents, and others.
In many instances, it is impossible to determine whether the cause of the accident was someone else's negligence or simply a mistake. However, there are some things you can do to help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Construction Accident Injuries
Accidents involving construction sites are among the most dangerous ones. These incidents often involve heavy machinery, large equipment, scaffolding, and other materials that pose significant risks to workers.
Under worker's comp laws, injured workers could be entitled to compensation if hurt while working on a construction site.
They must prove that the employer failed to provide adequate safety precautions and that the failure led to their work-related injuries, including failing to provide protective gear, training, supervision, and other necessary safeguards.
Slip And Fall Accidents
A slip-and-fall incident occurs when someone trips over something on the floor, steps into a puddle of water, or slips on ice.
A slip and fall case involves proving that a property owner failed to maintain safe conditions and that this caused your injuries. For example, if you slipped on a wet floor because no warning signs were posted, you could sue the store owner for negligence.
Premises Liability Accidents - Property Owners' Responsibilities
If you are injured due to unsafe conditions on another person's property, you could file a premises liability claim against the property owner. This type of personal injury case usually involves a homeowner whose house catches fire, a landlord whose apartment building collapses, or a hotel guest who suffers serious injuries in a hotel room.
To win a premises liability case, you must show that the property owner knew about the dangerous situation and did nothing to correct it.
What You Must Do If You've Been Injured
If you've been injured due to another person's negligence, there are several steps you must take to protect yourself.
- First, make sure you receive immediate medical attention.
- Second, follow all doctor's recommendations to ensure you heal properly.
- Third, fill out a complaint form if it applies to you.
- Fourth, consider pursuing legal action against those who caused your damages.
- Finally, don't hesitate to contact A personal injury lawyer from our law even though you don't think you're ready to sue. We'll still help you evaluate your situation.
When an Accident Leads to a Typical Personal Injury Case
Personal injuries involve negligence or wrongdoing by a person who caused an accident. A personal injury lawsuit involves seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and property damage.
If you suffer a personal injury because someone else was negligent or wronged you, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses.
Many types of personal injury cases include car accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, product liability, premises liability, construction site accidents, etc. Each type of case requires a different set of facts and evidence.
You must prove negligence and show how the defendant's actions led to your injury. Your attorney will help you gather information about what happened and why it matters. The lawyer will use this information to build a strong argument for your claim.
Civil Tort Lawsuits
Personal injury laws allow people to sue for damages in tort. Tort refers to civil lawsuits where one party sues another for harm done. These suits do not require proof of negligence; plaintiffs must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care and failed to live up to that duty.
For example, if you slipped and fell while walking down a public sidewalk, you could file a suit against the city for failing to maintain the sidewalk properly. This type of case is called a common law action. Common law actions include negligence, trespass, nuisance, strict liability, fraud, breach of contract, and warranty.
In addition to suing for damages, other remedies are available in certain circumstances. For instance, if someone intentionally harms you, you can file a criminal complaint, which typically leads to charges against the offender.
You can also file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator for assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel, slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, and wrongful death.
Personal Injury Matters and Intentional Acts
An act is intentional if done deliberately. If someone does something accidentally, it is unintentional. An example of an intentional act is hitting someone over the head with a baseball bat. An example of an accidental act is tripping while running across the street and falling down.
A personal injury lawsuit occurs when someone else causes harm to another person. For instance, a car accident could injure a pedestrian. This type of case is called a tort action because it involves a civil lawsuit.
Tort actions typically involve claims for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In all states, there are strict rules about what types of acts can form the basis of an injury-related lawsuit.
These personal injury rules apply to intentional acts like assault and battery and negligent acts like food poisoning, nursing home staff errors, and medical malpractice. Other states do not require proof of intent. Instead, plaintiffs must show that the defendant committed a wrongful act that led to the plaintiff's injuries.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Common
Personal injury suits are very common in the United States. They occur every day in courts around the country. Some examples of personal injury cases include slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, and workplace accidents.
The most common personal injury cases involve automobile accidents, construction site accidents, and premises liability. When people are injured due to the negligence of others, they can file a personal injury lawsuit.
A product defect causes an item to fail to perform safely or properly. If you buy a defective product, you could suffer physical injury, property damage, emotional distress, loss of income, or death. You may even face criminal charges such as manslaughter or negligent homicide.
Product liability lawsuits involving defective products are filed under strict liability or negligence theories. Under a strict liability theory, the injured person does not have to prove fault on behalf of the defendant.
Instead, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective and caused harm. Negligence requires proof of a duty owed by the manufacturer to the consumer and a breach of that duty.
In most states, manufacturers are responsible for warning consumers about any known risks that might affect the safety of their products. This requirement applies whether the manufacturer knew about the risk or not.
Manufacturers are also obligated to provide adequate instructions for the safe use of their products. Failure to do either can lead to a product liability lawsuit.
What About My Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are trying to cut costs, and one way they do it is by paying out less money to people who sue them. This practice is called "settle and run."
After the accident or incident that led to your injuries and damages, you should contact your insurance company and a personal injury attorney who will notify the defendant's insurer.
Under personal injury rules, your insurer must provide financial coverage under your policy for any monetary compensation not paid by the defendant's insurance carrier.
The At-Fault Party's Insurance Company Must Pay Your Lost Earnings
Insurance companies often try to minimize what you are entitled to because it costs them money. They argue that you could still earn just as much money without any physical limitations, even though you may no longer be able to do some of the things you used to enjoy.
This argument is called "diminished earning capacity," It is one of the most common arguments against receiving disability benefits.
Your lawyer must prove that you can never return to the type of employment you had before being injured. If he does not make this case, you will not qualify for disability payments.
To recover damages for diminished earning capacity, your attorney must show that you cannot work at your previous job or must prove that you cannot perform any job whatsoever.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney For Legal Representation, and Monetary Compensation
Have you suffered harm, or did you lose a loved one through the intentional act or negligence of others? Our personal injury attorneys can maximize your compensation to the state's civil court system to ensure maximum recovery for your damages.
Specializing in Personal Injury Cases
Contact a personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee agreement, meaning you pay no upfront fees until your personal injury lawyer resolves your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.