The Basics of Personal Injury

Personal injury or tort law enables a person to claim their rights to losses that have occurred due to an accident or another incident, causing them physical or emotional distress. These laws exist to financially compensate for the injury caused to an individual because of the carelessness of another. A person can easily go to a lawyer who specializes in the field, and they will help guide the individual to make their claim and represent them in the court. However, if you are not aware of which department you should be visiting to make these claims, today’s digital world has made it simple for you to find out. For example, if an individual is living in Dallas and suffers a loss for which they want to pursue a personal injury claim, they can follow this link for https://flemingattorneys.com/locations/dallas-personal-injury-lawyer/ and find the best lawyers to assist them with their claim. 

There is a wide range of situations where these laws can apply and help the injured individual be compensated for their injuries. Some examples are as follows: 

  • Accidents: Personal injury laws apply when an individual is negligent, and their carelessness causes an accidental injury to another individual. These can include car accidents, slip, and fall accidents, as well as medical practices where doctors or nurses don’t take the necessary precautions and cause patient harm. These are only a few examples of accidents caused due to the negligence of individuals, and in these cases, the victim of these incidents can make a personal injury claim on relevant terms. 
  • Intentional Acts: These incidents include injuries caused intentionally rather than by accident, for example, assault and battery. In such cases, the defendant wanted to intentionally cause harm to the victim and can be tried in the court as such.
  • Defective Product: This comes into play when the defendant is found guilty of causing injury to an individual without being negligent or wanting to cause harm intentionally. At times certain types of defective products can become the reason for a product liability claim. 
  • Defamation: Tort laws can also apply in cases where one individual’s defaming statements cause harm to another individual. 

 

Who makes these laws? 

Most laws are usually passed in bills and statutes or are made by legislatures; however, personal injury laws often date back to “common law rules.” This means that these laws are made by judges and not brought into play bypassing a bill. When a judge hears a case and makes a ruling, courts that are below the deciding judge’s courts find it an obligation to follow the example of the deciding judge. When this chain of binding precedent is followed, it eventually creates a body of “common law.”

Since the common law mainly depends upon the decision of a deciding judge, it often varies from one state to another, although, many of the common laws have been compiled into something known as the restatement of torts and courts across the country will often take help to guide their decision making when hearing a personal injury case. 

Even though most personal injury laws are common laws, there are some exceptions to these when legislatures have passed certain legislations that fall under the personal injury cases. The passing of worker’s compensation law by legislatures is one of the main examples of this. When this law was passed, all work-related injuries were compiled into one category, and the settlement for these was named worker’s compensation. 

Another law that has a role to play in personal injury cases is the state law called the statute of limitations. This law set a time limit for the injured to be able to pursue the defendant in the civil court system.

 

How does it work? 

Since one accident is not the same as the other, each personal injury case will also be different. However, there are a few standard procedures set in place to ensure a justified ruling.

 

The Defendant Does Something to Harm, the Plaintiff: 

Excluding a breach of contract, this can include almost any unlawful or bad act done by the defendant. However, when a breach of contract happens, the case is tried as cases under the “contract law,” which is a separate law altogether.

 

Defendant’s Breach of a Legal Duty is Determined: 

The specifications of the breach will depend upon the particular case being brought to the court, and the rulings will be given accordingly. For example: when on the road, drivers have a legal responsibility to follow the speed limit and safety precautions put in place by the government. Doctors, similarly, have set rules that need to be followed for the safety of their patients and to avoid cross-contamination and spread of diseases.

 

Settlement Talks 

if it has been determined that a breach of legal duty was made by the defendant and all parties agree upon this, the defendant might wish to settle the case outside of court. This settlement will usually include reaching a financial settlement to the injured person that is agreed upon by both parties. The terms of this settlement will include a promise from the injured party to not file a lawsuit. If the injured party agrees to the monetary settlement, the case is closed. However, in the case of both parties not being able to reach an agreement outside of court, the plaintiff then has the right to file a personal injury case against the defendant, which will result in a jury deciding the liability of the defendant.

 

Difference between Personal Injury & Bodily Injury

It is important to be aware of the difference between a personal injury and a bodily injury as these two fall under different categories, and different legal actions are taken following the events of both types of injuries. The term bodily injury differs from personal injury, and they are often heard when a person gets injured due to the misconduct of another. However, some factors separate one from the other:

 

Personal Injury: 

Personal injury cases are tried in the civil court and thus are elements of civil law. The plaintiff of the lawsuit is the individual who has gotten injured, and the defendant is the individual whom the case has been filed against.

 

Legal Aspects of Personal Injury:

Statutory limitation: As discussed earlier, laws of personal injury cases differ from state to state. However, in most states, a claim has to be made within the first two years of the injury; otherwise, the plaintiff might lose the right to file the case. 

Liability: Another legal aspect in a personal injury case will be the determination of the liability each party holds in the injury. At times a jury will decide that the plaintiff was partially or even fully responsible for the injury caused to them. 

Need for proof: the need for proof is relatively low in personal injury cases compared to other cases such as those of the criminal nature. To prove their case, however, the plaintiff needs to show the court that the defendant acted in a negligent manner causing harm as a result.

 

What Kind of Injuries Fall Under This Category: 

Tainted or bad food: one of the most common forms of personal injury cases includes food that is not prepared with an adequate amount of care. This might mean the food is undercooked, spoiled, or might use ingredients that the plaintiff does not want to consume. In being negligent towards the meals they serve, restaurants may cause their customers to end up missing work, being sick, and even racking up a medical bill. In such cases, however, it is best for the plaintiff to first consult a lawyer to make sure the restaurant can be held liable.

Defective product: after making a purchase, an individual may realize the product is causing them harm, whether it is emotionally or mentally. This means the individual might have a case against the manufacturer of that product. The injured can contact a lawyer and get their help in determining who is the responsible party for the injuries suffered. 

Attacked by a dog: Dog owners have a responsibility to follow proper rules and regulations when taking their dogs outside or even when their dogs are in their own yards. When taking your dog on walks, leashes have to be used, and when leaving your dog free in your yard, it is essential to make sure they are contained by a proper fence and gate. If by chance, your dog attacks a person or a person’s pet, they have the right to make a personal injury claim. 

Car Accident: anytime a person is in a car accident, the first two people they should contact should be the police and their lawyer. Car accidents are often tricky to tackle because unless it is apparent or there is video proof available, it can become challenging to determine the faulty party. Oftentimes, when individuals try to solve a car accident issue on their own, they end up receiving the short end of the stick. Therefore, it is always advisable to contact your attorney first thing after calling the police. 

Medical mistakes: mistakes made by medical professionals can, at times, cause a huge amount of discomfort to the patient, or they can even become life-threatening at times. Medical mistakes can include a wide range of mistakes made by medical professionals due to their negligence and carelessness. From prescribing the wrong medication to even an incorrect diagnosis, a medical professional can be held liable for a lot. However, contacting an attorney is the best way to go about such mishaps as attorneys have knowledge on how to pursue such claims. 

The injuries mentioned above are a few of the numerous which fall under the personal injury umbrella. Working through a personal injury case on your own can be tricky. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult a good lawyer who can help guide you and help you receive the results you wish for. 

Bodily Injury: The difference between bodily injury compared to a personal injury is that it is referred to when a person suffers from body injury due to another.

 

Legal Aspects of Bodily Injuries: 

Although bodily injury cases often deal with injuries caused in criminal cases, there are times when they can deal with insurance cases as well. These cases usually involve insurance claims with reference to motor vehicle insurance. Cases that come under bodily injuries will often compensate for injuries suffered by the drivers, passengers, or in some cases, the pedestrians. This compensation is made when the insured is found to be guilty of misconduct, and the compensation is focused on the particular injury caused by the accident.

 

The Compensation: 

When an individual suffers a bodily injury, they are qualified to receive compensation for expenses they had to make out of their own pocket to receive treatment for the injury, the lost wages, the medical bills, loss of earning capacity, and transportation to the hospital. The injured may sometimes receive compensation for pain and suffering. However, it is tricky as that aspect is usually reserved for personal injury and bodily injury mainly deals with physical damages caused to the body. 

Amongst bodily injury claims, a person can claim the loss and expense of the future as there might be cases where the individual is injured to the point that it will affect their life in the long run, and thus they can claim accordingly. The costs covered by such a claim will include future loss of income, impairment of any form, disability, disfigurement, and any cost of future therapy required to recover from the accident.

 

Conclusion: 

Sustaining a personal injury means the person has suffered any type of injury during an accident or because of the ignorance of another individual. This can include emotional damages caused by an incident where the negligence of one individual puts the other in harm’s way. Bodily injury, however, refers to injuries suffered during a car accident or any different sort of accident where a person gets physically hurt due to the negligence of the other. 

There are numerous lawyers available who specialize in personal injury claims and are willing to help an individual pursue the claims they have made against a defendant and receive monetary compensation for the damages they have suffered.

 

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