Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm.

Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law allows an injured person to go to civil court and get a legal remedy (damages) for all losses stemming from an accident or other incident. The purpose of the personal injury system is to allow the injured person to be compensated financially or “made whole” after the person has suffered harm due to someone else’s carelessness or intentional conduct.

Kinds of Personal Injury Lawsuits

Most personal injuries which result in law suits are the result of negligent or reckless conduct, rather than intentional conduct.

Motor vehicle accidents

Products liability

Premises liability

Professional malpractice

Nursing home abuse

Defamation and more

Personal Injury Legal Standards

The burden of proof in personal injury cases is typically lower than the burden of proof for criminal cases arising out of the same actions. This means that you may be able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit, even if the defendant was acquitted of criminal charges arising out of the same conduct. The objective in a personal injury lawsuit is generally to recover monetary compensation, rather than punish the Defendant. However, in some cases, punitive damages may be sought and awarded for particularly shocking or malicious misconduct by a defendant.

In most states, a Plaintiff (The person who has allegedly suffered damages) claiming negligence will need to prove:

The defendant’s duty of care

The defendant’s breach of that duty

Actual causation

Proximate causation

Actual damages

A Plaintiff’s failure to prove any of the elements of negligence can result in a case getting dismissed or in the defendant avoiding liability. If there are too many intervening events between the defendant’s breach and a plaintiff’s injury, the defendant’s breach may not be considered the “proximate” or legal cause of the injury.

As an alternative to litigation, a Plaintiff can opt to enter into a settlement agreement with the defendant regarding his claim; If a the parties agree to a settlement, the case is resolved. If not, the plaintiff may go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit related to the matter. Settlement negotiations often continue once the lawsuit is filed, and a settlement can be reached at any time prior to the civil case being handed over the jury for a finding as to the defendant’s liability.

A personal injury attorney can help you understand what compensation may be available to you based on your circumstances. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury by the negligent act of any person and are considering filing a law suit, consider contacting a personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.

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