A personal injury case can result from negligence or careless behavior. These lawsuits, also known as torts, can include everything from car accidents to medical malpractice and defective products.
Claims for personal injuries can include both measurable costs like medical expenses and non-measurable costs like pain and suffering or loss of consortium. Laws in this area are primarily developed through court decisions and statutes passed by legislatures.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law pertains to cases where one party causes harm to another, often due to negligence. It also covers certain types of intentional wrongdoing, such as assault, battery, and wrongful death.
In personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff claims that the defendant’s failure to meet a legal duty or standard of care directly caused their injuries. The specific legal duty will depend on the situation; for example, drivers have a duty to act following the applicable traffic laws, doctors have to treat their patients reasonably and carefully, and it is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure that their products do not pose any risk to consumers when released in the market.
If you win your case, you may be entitled to compensatory damages that cover a broad spectrum of economic losses. Losses that can be incurred include medical expenses, loss of earnings, and property damage. Sometimes, you can also recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
Damages are monetary compensation a court awards for the harm or loss you suffered due to another party’s wrongdoing. They are intended to return you to the position you were in before being harmed. The law refers to this as “making you whole.”
There are two types of damages in a personal injury case, economic and non-economic. Putting a value on quantifiable economic losses such as medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles and co-pays, lost wages, future wage loss, and property damage is relatively straightforward.
Non-economic damages are challenging to quantify as they are subjective, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and inconvenience. If you have inquiries about a potential personal injury claim, visit https://wilklawfirm.com.
Statutes of Limitations
The statutes of limitations set strict time limits on your right to sue someone for civil wrongs. They encourage injured parties to take action promptly before the evidence for their claim becomes stale.
Most states have statutes of limitations that vary based on the type of injury and who might be at fault. For example, a lawsuit involving exposure to toxic substances and medical malpractice might have a different statute of limitations than a lawsuit against a municipality for a traffic accident.
In addition, a single lawsuit might contain multiple claims (called “causes of action” in legalese) that could have separate statutes of limitations.
The law that embraces personal injury claims is called tort law, a broad area of civil law. While no two injury cases are identical, general guidelines apply to most of these claims.
One of the main elements in most personal injury lawsuits is proving that the defendant breached a legal duty. This duty can differ in each case but usually includes a general obligation to act reasonably. For instance, drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely on the road, doctors have a legal duty to treat patients within a recognized standard of care, and manufacturers have a legal duty not to put products on the market that are unreasonably dangerous.
Once you have proved that the defendant breached a legal responsibility, you can seek compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. These damages are categorized as special and general damages. Special damages are measurable costs like medical bills, lost income, and property damage. General damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress, but are less measurable.