Plaintiffs Personal Injury
Personal injury cases fall under the area of law known as tort law. A tort is legally defined as “a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another.”
Personal Injury Cases Defined
Personal injury cases usually arise when a victim suffers bodily injuries as a result of another’s wrongful actions or inaction which includes any violation of a party’s legal interests. Bodily injury can include any physical pain, disability, or illness that compromises your physical well being. Serious bodily injury is defined as any physical harm which increases the risk of death or that causes disfigurement, impairment or loss of a body part or organ.
Personal injury cases or torts can be classified into three broad categories.
- Intentional Torts – injury resulting from a party’s willful and purposeful actions.
- Strict Liability Torts – injury resulting from a company’s defective product.
- Negligence Torts – the defending party is accused of inflicting injury by failing to prevent it.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims can be made two ways. Filings by the injured party or on behalf of the injured party (usually in cases involving minors or deceased persons) are the most common.
There are numerous types of personal injury cases which include but are not limited to:
- Car accidents
- Defective product injuries
- Drug injuries
- Exposure to toxins
- Job injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuses
- “Slip and fall” or premise injuries
- Wrongful death
The attorneys at Berg & Androphy have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex personal injury cases including:
- Asbestos Mesothelioma Cases
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability Law
Components of a Personal Injury Case
The two components of a personal injury case are damages and liability.
Damages refer to the extent of the injury or loss. This includes physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering, mental or physical disability, loss of wages or profits, and all other expenses resulting from the injury. Compensation is intended to restore what a person has lost. Punitive damages, or legal punishment for extremely malicious or willful action, may also be awarded in addition to compensation for losses.
Liability involves proving that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. In order to receive compensation for a personal injury case three things must be proven: first, that the defendant had a legal responsibility to act (or refrain from a particular action), second, that the defendant failed to act in this manner, and third, that the plaintiff’s injuries were a result of the defendant’s breach of his legal responsibility.
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court by negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company. If a negotiation cannot be reached in this manner, a complaint must be filed in civil court, most often in state court in the county in which the injury occurred.
Statutes of Limitations
Be aware that when making a personal injury claim there are statutes of limitation set to define the time between when an injury occurs and when the claim can be filed. These statues vary from state to state and may be different depending on the type of injury involved.