Personal injury is a broad legal term to describe an injury to one’s emotions, mind or body rather than an actual physical injury. In Anglo-American societies the term is also frequently used to describe a specialized form of a civil lawsuit in which the plaintiff bringing the lawsuit has actually suffered physical injury to his or her emotions or body. In the United States, the term personal injury law is widely used to describe several types of civil law cases, including Product Liability, Medical Malpractice, and Employment Lawsuits. Personal Injury law is also referred to as tort law and is governed by a system of laws that grants broad rights to recover damages for injuries sustained.
In the state of Michigan, personal injury law is regulated by the Michigan Tort Claims Act. This act outlines who is protected from negligence and who is not. For example, it is unlawful for a physician or surgeon to fail to treat a patient with an adequate dosage of painkillers after the anesthetic has been administered. If the doctor in question violated the statute, that doctor could be held liable for the resulting harm even if he or she did not know about the prescription error and did not give appropriate painkillers. The same would hold true for automobile accidents, where the driver of another vehicle negligently causes an injury.
There are numerous common elements present in many of the states’ personal injury laws. One of these is the “continuation of the status quo,” which means that a plaintiff cannot file new claims against an individual who is already well-settled. Also, in civil law, there are rules governing the admission of evidence and witnesses in court trials. In cases of extreme personal injury, courts will even allow testimony from witnesses who have no monetary ties to either the plaintiff or defendant, provided the testimony can be proved to be true.
There are two different bodies of law that address cases involving personal injury law. First, there are damages and attorneys’ fees. In tort law, an injured party must be compensated for damages. The attorney does not have to recover these damages; the injured person is typically on his own for paying the costs of filing a lawsuit and hiring a personal injury attorney. Attorneys typically only recover fees if they win the case.
A related area of personal injury law is wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is based on the emotional suffering caused to a family member by another’s negligence or misconduct. In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members of the deceased must seek damages from the responsible party to cover funeral expenses, loss of the deceased’s earning potential, and other financial losses. If an attorney is unsuccessful in pursuing such damages, the case may be settled out of court. However, should the case go to trial, Attorneys are allowed to introduce expert witness testimony to help prove that the negligent person or company acted unreasonably and in disregard of the standard of care for which they are held responsible.
If a personal injury case goes to trial, Attorneys are often required to work on both a criminal case and a civil case at the same time. Attorneys have many ways to obtain the most favorable settlement for their clients, and in most cases they do not charge a fee until they successfully resolve the case. In either case, the client remains responsible for all fees after the settlement. Both criminal and civil cases can have damaging effects on a person’s credit for up to 10 years, depending on the severity of the charges, and both can result in substantial fines.