Personal injury law is also referred to in the court system as tort law. Tort law allows for victims too – through civil court – seek legal remedy (or damages) for all losses resulting from an incident or accident. The sole purpose of the personal injury system is to offer injured persons an opportunity to be compensated (financially) for suffering that they incurred due to the fault of another party. An ultimate goal of making the plaintiff, or person injured, feel “whole” after suffering harm due to someone else’s intentional conduct or carelessness, is the intent of personal injury law.
Personal Injury Case Defined
A personal injury case is a legal dispute that arises as a result of an accident, where one or more parties are injured and that another party might be responsible for the harm caused to the victims. Personal injury cases most often will be resolved in an informal settlement process that occurs before the lawsuit is fully filed. However, some personal injury cases do become more formalized through the proceedings of the civil court system, which will seek to prove the fault of personal liability through a court judgment.
Because every personal injury case will be different, it can therefore be expected that each will follow its own path in terms of how the case will unfold. However, there is a standard process that almost all personal injury cases will undergo.
Plaintiff is Injured in Some Way By the Defendant: This refers to most any bad act where the defendant’s acts cause harm to the plaintiff. The exception here is contractual breaches, which are covered under an entirely different body of law referred to as “contract law.”
The Plaintiff Concludes that a Legal Duty Was Breached By the Defendant: The legal duties in each case will depend on the situation that the injury occurred in. Take, for instance, driving a vehicle – all automobile drivers have a reasonable responsibility to operate their vehicle as any other reasonable person on the road would. We can also assume that all doctors have a reasonable duty to provide patients with a level of competent medical care than any other experienced health care professional would exhibit under the same circumstances. Additionally, both manufacturers and distributors have a reasonable duty to provide consumers with non-defective or non-dangerous products.
The Talk of Settlement Arises: When one party is clearly at fault due to a breached legal duty, the at-fault party (and/or their insurance company) will likely choose to settle outside of the courtroom. The defendant, in this case, would make a monetary offer to the person who was harmed as compensation for their wrongdoings. In exchange for these monies, the injured party must agree to a binding promise that they will not move forward with filing a lawsuit over the matter.
Agreement: The injured party will either agree to or decline the monetary compensation settlement offer, which will determine the next step in the process. If the plaintiff agrees, then the case is settled. If they do not agree the plaintiff will then file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant. Negotiations or settlements may occur during any point in the litigation process, so long as they take place before the case is handed to the jury for liability verdicts.
When Do Personal Injury Rules Apply?
There is a wide array of situations where personal injury law might apply. Some examples include intentional acts where the conduct of the defendant causes harm to the plaintiff. This might be in situations where battery and assault or intentional torts are involved. Accidents are another area that is covered by tort law. When one party acts in a negligent manner that ultimately results in the harm to another person, or the plaintiff, personal injury law will apply. Such situations include slip and fall accidents, car accidents, medical malpractices, among many other types of cases. There are also situations where the defendant might be found guilty of harm caused to the plaintiff without having partaken in any intentional wrongdoings or negligent acts. An example of a scenario of this nature is involving particular types of product liability, where a defective product is concerned. Additionally, defamation is a large area of tort law. When one party’s defamatory remark causes harm to the other party or to their reputation, personal injury laws will apply.
Call Schulman, Roth and Associates for Your Personal Injury Case Needs
Though not all personal injury cases will make it to the courtroom, it takes a detailed understanding of the court system and the rules governing tort law to afford you –as the plaintiff – reasonable compensation for your pain and suffering, due to the wrongful acts of another party. If you have been seriously injured in an accident that has negatively impacted your life, it is important that you find an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney to fight for you. At Schulman, Roth, and Associates, you will find the knowledge, experience, and care needed to earn you the compensation you deserve from your injury.