If you’ve been in nearly any kind of accident, you’ve probably heard the term “personal injury.” Mostly associated with auto accidents, personal injury can actually be associated with nearly any type of accident that is caused by another person’s negligence. So personal injury means physical injuries, mental injuries, or property damage caused to you by another party’s negligence.
Personal injury law is called tort law, which allows injured parties to bring a civil suit in a court of law against another person for compensatory damages. Any damages awarded are intended to make the injured party “whole” after suffering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, intended or unintended.
What “Personal Injury” Means
Personal injury encompasses a wide range of different cases. The most common types are:
The basics of a personal injury case are that:
1. The defendant does something to cause injury to a plaintiff (the exception is one that involves a breach of contract)
2. The plaintiff ascertains that the defendant breached their legal duty of care, depending on the circumstances of the case
3. Both sides engage in settlement negotiations. If the negotiations fall short of an out-of-court settlement, then a lawsuit in civil court is the next likely step.
Nearly anything that leads to the injury of another person can come under the title of “personal injury.”
This is the field of law covering wrongful injuries to a person, with negligence being the most common type. The term is used solely in civil law, and torts would not involve jail time like in a criminal case.
Relief is strictly monetary to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries, disclose wrongdoing, and act as a deterrent to others who might commit something similar. A tort case is based on four points: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
An intentional tort is one in which someone’s intentional actions injure another person. An unintentional tort is one in that a person does something or does not do something that a reasonable person would have done in the same situation.
Strict liability is when a party is liable for another’s injury and no proof of negligence is required. Product liability is an example of strict liability since a plaintiff would only need to show that their injuries directly resulted from the product in question.
There are cases where tort law and criminal law overlap. Some intentional torts can also be prosecuted in criminal courts, such as assault, battery, or other intentional torts. While the state tries the case in criminal court, an injured plaintiff can sue the defendant in civil court for compensatory damages.
Is Bodily Injury The Same Thing?
Not exactly, and it has a couple of different meanings.
In a criminal case, bodily injury is when a person is injured during the commission of a crime, i.e., acts of violence such as assault, battery, or grievous bodily harm.
Insurance policies call the injuries a person suffers in a personal injury case, such as a car accident or slip and fall, “bodily injury.” In a personal injury case, an insurer that reimburses someone for “bodily injury” is giving compensation to the plaintiff for the injuries suffered in the accident.
Personal Injury From Someone Else’s Negligence In Charleston? Call The Love Law Firm
We have more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 (or use our online contact form) and schedule your free consultation. There’s no charge for the first visit, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case and recover money for you.