Personal Injury

Personal Injury

In General


Personal injury lawsuits are filed by people injured due to the negligence of someone else. The injury may be either physical or emotional, and it can arise from a variety of types of conduct. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include automobile accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, dog bites, and work related injuries. In general, the goal of a personal injury action is to obtain compensation for the sustained loss from the responsible party.



Types of Damages


Injured clients should receive compensation for the damages to which they are entitled by law. Some of the items for which injured parties may be entitled to compensation include lost wages, past and future medical expenses, damages for both physical and emotional pain and suffering, and damages for disfigurement. Sometimes, a close family member of the injured person, such as his or her spouse, may also be entitled to damages. This type of award is intended to compensate the loved one for the loss of the injured or deceased person's services and companionship.


Other kinds of damages that may be awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the loss of enjoyment of activities that he or she once valued but can no longer participate in as a result of the injuries suffered. In addition, punitive damages may be awarded when the defendant's conduct was particularly egregious and the court or jury determines that the defendant should be punished by paying an amount above and beyond the plaintiff's actual damages.

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Causation of Personal Injuries - Testing


Not every injured person is entitled to recover damages for the injury he or she sustains. To be successful, in addition to injury the plaintiff must also establish that the defendant is legally responsible for his or her injuries. The plaintiff must present proof of causation both in terms of actual causation and proximate causation. Actual causation is determined by literal cause and effect. Whether legal causation is established depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular matter in question.



Negligence and Strict Liability


Some personal injury actions are based on a concept of fault called negligence. Under the negligence theory, a defendant is held liable for the results of action, or inaction, when an ordinary person in the same position should have foreseen that the conduct would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. Other types of personal injury actions are based on strict liability, which is a no-fault system under which liability may be established regardless of the fault of the defendant. For example, strict liability may be applied in dog bite cases.



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