WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY?
- July 26, 2016
In the context of personal injury and accident law, a personal injury can be broadly defined as any injury, malady, condition or disease that is inflicted on the body or mind. In legal language, an injury that occurs in the body, mind, or psyche is considered a personal injury; this separates personal injuries from injuries to property, which can only be construed as damages to possessions or potential possessions. Personal injury and accident lawyers specialize in seeking compensation packages for their clients who were involved in an injurious accident.
How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work?
In the English legal tradition, personal injury lawsuits are those in which the plaintiff alleges wrongdoing by one or more defendants that directly or indirectly led to the injury. These accusations may lead to defamation lawsuits, but most commonly they result in simple negligence lawsuits where the plaintiff’s legal team seeks punitive damage payments. These damages can be very high, because they often take into account medical bills, emergency room visits, lost wages and mental distress. Damages settlements are negotiated between the two parties, and if the lawsuit is brought to court a judge will usually determine a fair payout for the defendant to make. If the payment cannot be made in a lump-sum, the lawyers on each side will get together and draw up a structured settlement payment plan.
Types of Personal Injuries
There are several different types of personal injuries that can be the basis for a lawsuit. The most common of these is a bodily injury, which can encompass a number of different things.
Bodily injuries can result from any road-related accident, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents or pedestrian negligence accidents. Medical and dental accidents are also filed under bodily injury, as are any injuries that occur due to a defective product. Defective product lawsuits are typically a bit more difficult to win because manufacturers and production companies have highly trained teams of lawyers whose sole purpose is to defend the company from financial liability. Industrial disease cases are also considered personal injuries: many people know about lawsuits stemming from asbestos exposure or mesothelioma, but other diseases that can result in lawsuits include chronic bronchitis, occupational deafness or blindness, and repetitive strain muscle injuries.
Emotional distress personal injuries can also be the basis for successful lawsuits against the perpetrator. Emotional distress suits typically go one of two ways: either the legal team argues that the defendant intentionally inflicted emotional disstress on the plaintiff, or that he or she negligently or unintentionally inflicted disstress on the plaintiff. The word ‘mental’ can easily be substituted in for the word ’emotional’ without changing the intent of the law.
These emotional injuries could be the result of unfair or inappropriate criticism by a work superior, illegal stalking or intimidation by a neighbor or stranger, or online harassment by someone who is unknown to the defendant. Although all of these acts do not involve actual bodily injury, skilled attorneys can frame these issues in the context of personal harm for a judge or jury. The punitive damages that the defendant may be forced to pay are similarly large, even without physical evidence of wrongdoing.
Other Details About Personal Injuries
Personal injury law is a highly specialized area of the law in the United States, and the attorney teams that commit to practicing it must be aware of many detailed customs and statutes. For example, the statute of limitations on certain personal injuries varies from state to state. The statute of limitations can also vary based on the injury: the time period that one has to bring a case against a rapist is longer than the time period one has to sue a former boss for emotional distress.
If you or a loved one in your family has experienced a devastating personal injury, make sure to contact a trained personal injury and accident lawyer immediately. El Dabe Law Firm in Los Angeles is recognized throughout the region for putting clients first and working tirelessly to secure fair financial settlements for them. Contact the Los Angeles personal injury law firm today for a free consultation, and begin planning your road to recovery one step at a time with an expert legal team.