Personal injury law refers to the legal remedies and defenses involved in civil lawsuits brought as a result of wrongdoing. In fact, the word “tort” comes from a Latin term meaning twist, wrong, or harm. In contrast to legal code, a tort action doesn’t involve the govt prosecuting the wrongdoer. Rather, these cases involve a personal plaintiff seeking compensation (usually money) for the harm caused by the defendant’s actions.
Most personal injury cases are supported by the doctrine of negligence. In essence, negligence requires every member of society to act responsibly and avoid putting others in danger. that’s to not say that negligence will result whenever someone gets hurt. The doctrine recognizes that some accidents are unavoidable. to determine liability, the plaintiff must show that a fairly prudent person within the defendant’s position would have acted differently under the circumstances.
Examples of negligence include car accidents caused by drunk drivers, medical complications resulting from a physician’s carelessness, and dog bites that occur when vicious animals are permitted to roam free. In each instance, the responsible party ignored the danger posed to others, and as a result, the plaintiff was injured.
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Once negligence has been established during a personal injury case, the defendant must pay the plaintiff for all injuries caused by the defendant’s actions. Certain sorts of damages are easy to calculate, like property damage and medical bills. For other types, like emotional distress and loss of earning capacity, expert testimony could also be required. exemplary damages, meant to punish and deter particularly egregious conduct, can also be available.
When initiating a tort action, identifying the right defendants are often difficult. this is often because the “tortfeasor” who directly harmed the plaintiff – be it a delivery driver, nurse, grocery clerk, or other individuals – might not have the financial resources to pay an outsized judgment. An experienced injury attorney can identify and sue additional parties who are liable to support their relationship to the tortfeasor, like a landlord or employer.
Common Torts and Defenses
Personal injury law encompasses a variety of causes of action besides negligence. Many of those fall under the umbrella of intentional torts. because the name suggests, in these situations, the defendant acts purposefully to harm the plaintiff. Examples include assault, battery, imprisonment, trespass, theft, and infliction of emotional distress.
On the other end of the tort spectrum, there are scenarios during which defendants are going to be liable albeit they did everything possible to avoid causing the harm. this is often mentioned as strict liability. The law will hold a defendant strictly liable if someone is hurt while the defendant is engaging during a highly dangerous activity, albeit the activity is legal and every one precaution is taken. Building demolition and transporting hazardous materials fall under this category.
Another common tort involves injuries caused by defective products. Liability in these cases is often imposed supported a theory that the manufacturer acted negligently by designing and selling an unsafe product. Or, if certain elements are met, plaintiffs hurt by a defective product could also be ready to sue under a strict liability theory. Either way, product liability cases have the potential to become large class-action suit lawsuits, involving many plaintiffs and massive money judgments.
To defend against personal injury liability, defendants tend to believe a couple of common defense theories. In negligence cases, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff didn’t use ordinary care, and is partially or wholly liable for his or her own injury. The defendant can also claim that the plaintiff “assumed the risk” by voluntarily participating during a dangerous sport or activity, or that the plaintiff impliedly gave the defendant permission to require the action that ended up harming the plaintiff.
Plaintiffs who want to avoid losing a tort case supported such arguments should hire legal counsel. Retaining an attorney also will help avoid the unfortunate circumstance of violating a statute of limitations (that is, missing the deadline for filing the lawsuit), which is usually a priority in personal injury cases.
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