Personal injury is a legal term for a personal injury to one’s emotions, body or psyche, rather than an actual physical injury to real property. In Anglo-American societies the term is primarily used to describe a form of civil lawsuit where the plaintiff bringing the case has actually suffered some sort of damage to his or her psyche or body. In the United States, Canada and many Western European countries the term personal injury is used interchangeably with the term negligence. When used in legal contexts, the word negligence is understood to mean a breach of a promise made by another party, rather than an actual inability to carry out the duty or obligation. Personal injury can arise from a number of sources, including traffic accidents, dog bites or medical malpractice.
Many individuals who file personal injury lawsuits feel that they are being mistreated by their own insurance companies. Insurance companies are not necessarily trying to be greedy; they are following the rules of the market, after all, and will settle a large portion of claims if they believe that they can get away with it. However, it is still important to file a claim with an insurance company with extreme care because you may find yourself in an even stronger position if your injury case goes to court instead of settling. If you are successful at recovering your damages through the help of an injury attorney, you stand a good chance of getting compensated for more than your actual worth through future earning potential.
If your personal injury law case eventually moves into court, you could end up facing an onslaught of lawsuits from the opposing side. Personal injury lawyers may begin to specialize in particular areas of injury law, such as vehicle accidents or workplace injuries. Because the litigation process in a court system is much faster and more formalized than the more informal procedures of a courtroom, personal injury lawyers may find themselves with less time on their hands. Therefore, they may choose to outsource some of their work to other lawyers, who may actually have more experience dealing with the particular type of situation. Other personal injury lawyers may simply take on as many cases as they feel comfortable handling at any given moment.
When filing a personal injury law lawsuit, it is important to understand the different types of damages that may be awarded by the courts. Some jurisdictions award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the individual who caused the accident. Others award compensatory damages, which are meant to compensate the injured party for its losses and medical expenses related to the accident. A few jurisdictions also award damages based on the extent of the injuries suffered, while others base compensation awards on an estimate of the potential losses experienced. Some personal injury cases also involve determining the amount of potential future financial losses, such as those that stem from suffering from post-accident pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, loss of future earning potential, and so on.
The damages sought through personal injury law lawsuits can be very substantial. In fact, the potential monetary gains often motivate victims and their families to file lawsuits in the first place. Damages can be awarded for a variety of factors, including lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, past and future suffering caused by the negligent actions or negligence of the defendant (or in some cases the owners of the property involved), as well as punitive damages. In the case of punitive damages, the court may award a monetary amount based on the extent of the damage caused to the injured person or family. Again, it should be noted that in some jurisdictions, punitive damages are not limited to instances in which a person has actually caused harm against another person.
Common examples of negligent and intentional misconduct include workplace accidents, slip and falls, car accidents, and medical malpractice. While these accidents generally involve some level of negligence on the part of the parties, they can also involve reckless or intentional misconduct on the part of the liable party. Sometimes, the results of these accidents can actually create real or possible financial losses for the victim or his/her family. Therefore, filing a personal injury law case can be an important way of recouping some of these losses.