Personal Injury law defined:
Personal injury law can simply be defined as the defenses or legal remedies in a civil lawsuit brought to the court by a plaintiff because of a wrongful conduct to him or her. The word tort has been derived from a Latin word, which means harm, wrong or twist. Unlike criminal proceedings, the accused is not prosecuted by the government but generally involve a plaintiff who is looking for compensation, which is usually in the form of money against the damages caused by the wrongdoing of the defendant.
Doctrine of negligence forms the basis of most personal injury cases. Doctrine of negligence requires every member of the society to act in a reasonable, responsible way, which doesn’t put another member of the society at risk. Negligence doesn’t always end up in someone being hurt, and the doctrine also realizes the fact that the nature of some accidents are “unavoidable”. To establish anything in court, the plaintiff must prove that anyone else in the place of the defendant would have act differently and avoided the accident.
Some example of negligence are car accident caused by the reckless driving of a person being drunk, dog bites, medical carelessness on the part of the physician, etc. In each of the negligence case, it is necessary that the defendant has ignored the probable risk to others and while doing so, the plaintiff suffered an injury.
When negligence is proven on the defendant’s part, he or she must pay the plaintiff, the compensation for all the injuries caused by the wrongdoing. Some damages are complex while others are easy to calculate, for example medical bills and property damages are simple while damages such as emotional distress are complex in nature. In all damages, which are complex to calculate, expert testimony is usually required.
When talking about a tort action, it often gets tough to identify the defendant. This happens because the party who may be responsible for directly harming the plaintiff (called tortfeasor) are often people like nurse, delivery driver, a clerk working at the grocery store, etc. These people usually don’t have enough finances to pay for the damages, especially when it involves a large sum of money. With the help of an attorney, a plaintiff can sue other parties who might be responsible for the tortfeasor actions, like an employer or a landlord.
Common Torts and Defenses
Besides negligence, there are several other causes for the damage in the personal injury law. These causes maybe in the form of “intentional torts”. As clear with its name, these are the cases where defendant purposefully harms the plaintiff. Example may include but are not limited to theft, false imprisonment, assault, trespass, battery, etc.
Other tort cases involve situations where defendant will be held responsible for the damages even when he or she has tried his level best to avoid the wrongdoing. This is called strict liability. Explaining the strict liability, law will often hold the defendant responsible for damages occurred to the plaintiff if the defendant is carrying out an activity, which is considered very harmful. No matter if that activity is legal, the defendant will still be held as strictly liable. Transporting hazardous waste or material, or activities involved in demolition of a building usually falls under this category.
Amongst most common torts are the injuries that occur as a result of using defective product. Manufacturer in these cases may be held liable simply due to the fact that it acted negligently while making the product. In some situations, plaintiff is also able to sue the manufacturer based on the theory of “strict liability”. Such cases have the potential to become large lawsuits, which may involve number of plaintiffs and huge money.
With respect to defendant in a personal injury cases, there are a few common theories. When it comes to cases involving negligence, the defendant may try to prove a point that plaintiff did not exercise proper care and is either fully or partially responsible for the injury. The defendant also may try to prove a point that plaintiff “assumed the risk” and voluntarily became part of the activity, which resulted in the injury. The defendant may also try to prove that plaintiff gave the permission to the defendant to act, which later resulted in an injury.
Plaintiff looking to avoid losing a tort case should hire the services of a professional attorney. Being aware of the deadline for filing a case (statute of limitation) is always important in personal injury cases and a legal counsel can always help you in this regard, and more.