You might’ve been involved in a car accident, and both you and your car have sustained damage; this is where personal injury law comes into play. Also known as tort law, personal injury law is what allows the plaintiff (the injured person) to receive compensation for the damages they have suffered. The damage dealt are usually because of the defendant’s negligence or intentional actions. The word tort in Latin means wrong or harm, and while it may be easy to confuse between criminal law and tort law, it is easy to discern between the two as criminal law seeks to prosecute the defendant, while tort law seeks to compensate the plaintiff.
Here are the basics of personal injury law every beginner will need to know:
Duty of care
Negligence is relative to the Duty of Care and how that duty can be breached. Duty of Care refers to the person’s responsibility not to cause any harm to another person. So, in a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s best action would be to prove that the defendant had a Duty of Care in a situation where the defendant had caused him harm, and that the defendant had breached his duty. Drivers must abide by their Duty of Care in operating their vehicles, so in a vehicular accident, a driver who causes harm to another person due to his negligent driving has breached his Duty of Care. In this case, the injured person will be in need of a personal injury lawyer; their expertise covers the different and common types of vehicles involved in accidents. They will also advise you on how to get reimbursed in car accident claims, file a lawsuit for you, and take the case to trial if it is necessary.
Typically, the responsible party will have to pay monetary compensation to the plaintiff according to a judgment. For example, he will have to pay compensation for property damage and medical bills. However, compensation for pain, suffering, inability of the injured person to enjoy habits due to permanent physical damage is hard to be determined. Such damages include, but are not limited to; medical treatment (reimbursement for medical bills the injured person has already paid and an approximate cost for the prospective medical bills you might be needing), income; as the injured person is entitled to get compensation for how the accident affected their income, and property loss caused by the accident, like repairs or clothing.
The injured person’s actions, or inaction for that matter, can greatly affect the value of compensatory damages. Such cases include comparative negligence, in which the injured person may have been at fault for the accident, which will affect the compensation received, contributory negligence (a small number of states adhere to this concept) that deems the injured person unqualified for any compensation whatsoever if he was proven to be responsible even partially for the accident, and failure to mitigate damages when an injured person doesn’t get the appropriate treatment, further exacerbating its medical condition. All of these aspects will cause the plaintiff’s compensation to be significantly reduced.
Personal injury law requires a certain degree of mastery on the attorney’s part. Consider hiring an attorney and make sure to receive all reimbursements and benefits you are entitled to. And remember, you will have the right to a personal injury claim if you were hurt because someone did not see to doing their job correctly.