Most of us have seen advertisements for personal injury attorneys. Smiling on billboards and always present in TV commercials, personal injury attorneys often have high visibility. From car accidents to slips and falls, personal injury cases occur every day in the United States. But there are different types of personal injury claims, and different legal strategies are used to hold someone accountable for injuries.
What is the personal injury law?
Personal injury law is the legal way for an injured person (the plaintiff) to file a lawsuit against the defendant (the defendant) seeking financial compensation for the losses caused by the injury.
Personal injury cases include tort (wrongful civil acts that result in injury or damage) and are divided into three general groups:
•Negligence Grievances - When someone acts carelessly (as in many car accidents).
•Intentional grievances: done on purpose (like a punch to the face).
•Claims of strict liability: liability imposed without regard to fault (such as inherently dangerous activities).
This is considerably easier to prove than in a criminal case (that is, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt).
Negligent grievances - causing careless harm
Many personal injury lawsuits allege negligence. In a typical negligence case, the plaintiff must prove the following:
•The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, to protect him from possible injury.
•The defendant did not act reasonably in a number of specific circumstances.
•That performance was actually what caused the plaintiff's injury.
•The plaintiff suffered actual damage due to the defendant's breach of the duty of care.
Please note that negligence does not require that the defendant have intended to cause harm, but that the defendant did not act as a reasonable and prudent person would in the same circumstances. A common defense in a negligence case is that there was no reasonable duty of care or that something else caused the injury (such as the plaintiff's own actions).
Intentional grievances: purposely causing harm
Unlike in negligence cases, the plaintiff alleging an intentional wrong must demonstrate that the defendant wanted the damage to occur. Some examples of intentional grievances include assault, assault, unlawful deprivation of liberty, trespassing, and intentional provocation of emotional suffering.
Although some of these grievances can also be judged under criminal law, civil law allows people to initiate actions for the same acts in search of compensation from the person who caused the damage. A good example is the O. J. Simpson civil law case. Although Simpson was acquitted in the criminal case, which was the one that gained the most notoriety, he was found responsible for the damages in the civil case.
Strict liability tort: fault regardless of intention or carelessness
There are some types of grievances for which the defendant can be held liable if an injury occurs, even if he or she has not acted negligently or intentionally. It also includes employers held liable for the negligent or criminal actions of their employees. In some states, dog owners may also have strict liability for the actions of their pets if they injure someone else.
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