Personal Injury

Personal Injury Law

Guide to Tort Law

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What is Personal Injury Law? In the legal sense, personal injury is a type of tort or civil wrong where harm is caused to one individual because another individual failed to use reasonable care. Personal injury law overlaps quite a bit with litigation law. The law recognizes a tort as grounds (legal reasons) to sue the offender in order to recover for losses caused by an injury or other type of harm, including psychological. This is referred to as recovery for damages and may involve expected future losses in addition to actual present losses. Some of the damages one may sue for are reasonable medical expenses, property damages, pain and suffering, loss of earnings capacity, emotional distress, loss of consortium or companionship, and legal costs and attorney fees. The main goal of tort law to make the injured party whole again and to discourage others from committing the same offense.

With personal injury law, liability is a key factor. Liability is determined by showing that the individual who caused the harm did so because of a failure to exercise reasonable care. Further, it must be shown that it was foreseeable that this failure could result in the injury or harm that did occur to the other party. A finding of reckless or negligent action may result in a judgment of liability. There are various defenses to a claim of liability. For example, if the injured party knew that the activity in which he was engaged when he was injured was dangerous, the other party may assert assumption of the risk, claiming that the injured party bears all the responsibility for his injury. Other defenses are pre-existing condition and intervening causes.

Personal injury law is extremely complicated and the subject of much debate. There are many critics actively seeking tort reform in an effort to decrease these types of lawsuits, as well as the amount of damages that may be recovered and the contingency fees attorneys may charge. A contingency fee works on the principal that the attorney only gets paid if the case is won and damages are recovered. The contingency fee is based on a percentage of the recovery, rather than an hourly rate.

Personal injury or tort law generally makes one think of lawsuits. However, many of these cases never proceed to court. More frequently an out-of-court settlement is sought to resolve the issue. This is much more expedient than a lengthy, costly civil court trial. However, when a settlement cannot be reached, the parties usually must proceed to a state court, and the judgment may then be appealed to the applicable appellate courts. Many jurisdictions have small claims courts which hear personal injury cases wherein a small recovery amount is sought, which falls under a set threshold. Although less common, federal courts may hear some personal injury cases as well. Either federal or state courts may preside over class action suits.

Other subsets of personal injury law include Slip and Fall, Car Accident, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, and Catastrophic Injury. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright

Personal Injury and Tort Law - US

  • ABA - Personal Injury

    Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is designed to protect you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else's act or failure to act. In a successful tort action, the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered the losses. Every tort claim, regardless of its basis, whether intentional, negligence, or strict liability, has two basic issues?liability and damages. Was the defendant liable for the damages you sustained, and, if so, what is the nature and extent of your damages? If you can prove liability and damages, our system of justice will award you compensation for your loss.

  • ABA - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)

    At the heart of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) you?ll find 34 committees which focus on substantive and procedural matters in specific areas of practice and provide you with a plethora of opportunities to interact with, write for and learn from your peers.

  • Personal Injury - Definition

    Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. The term is most commonly used to refer to a type of tort lawsuit alleging that the plaintiff's injury has been caused by the negligence of another.

  • Theories of Tort Law

    A tort is a legal wrong. Tort law is a branch of the civil law; the other main branches are contract and property law. Whereas in criminal law the plaintiff is always the state and the defendant, if found guilty of a crime, is punished by the state, in civil law the dispute is typically between private parties (though the government can also sue and be sued). In the case of torts, the plaintiff is the victim of an alleged wrong and the unsuccessful defendant is either directed by the court to pay damages to the plaintiff (the usual remedy) or else to desist from the wrongful activity (so-called "injunctive relief").

  • Tort Law - Definition

    A body of rights, obligations, and remedies that is applied by courts in civil proceedings to provide relief for persons who have suffered harm from the wrongful acts of others. The person who sustains injury or suffers pecuniary damage as the result of tortious conduct is known as the plaintiff, and the person who is responsible for inflicting the injury and incurs liability for the damage is known as the defendant or tortfeasor.

  • Tort Law - Overview

    Torts are civil wrongs recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party. While some torts are also crimes punishable with imprisonment, the primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harms. The injured person may sue for an injunction to prevent the continuation of the tortious conduct or for monetary damages.

  • USDOJ - Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

    Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) cases are varied. Those cases handled by section litigators include traditional problems in tort law, such as medical malpractice and other personal injury litigation, as well as seminal issues arising in areas as diverse as regulatory agency activities, wild animal attacks in national parks, and professional malpractice. The section also handles litigation brought by persons who contracted AIDS allegedly due to government negligence in the course of blood transfusions or other medical procedures. Section attorneys protect the United States from exposure to excessive liability, and from second-guessing of governmental policy decisions through tort litigation.

  • USDOJ - Torts Branch

    Approximately 120 attorneys are employed by the Torts Branch Attorneys are divided among five sections: Aviation and Admiralty; Federal Tort Claims Act; Environmental Torts; Constitutional and Specialized Torts; and, Tobacco Litigation. The Torts Branch represents the interests of the United States in suits where monetary judgments are sought for damages resulting from negligent or wrongful acts. The Branch also handles actions involving injury or damage to government property.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations by State

Organizations Related to Tort and Personal Injury Law

  • Personal Injury Settlement and Claim Advice

    This website explains your rights as an injury victim, how to value your injuries, determine liability, deal with insurance companies, and many other insider tips to help you get a fair personal injury settlement.

  • American Tort Reform Association (ATRA)

    ATRA is a national organization exclusively dedicated to repairing our civil justice system. ATRA fights in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the courts to make the system fairer. We identify and champion elected officials and judges who want to fix the system. In the media, we serve as the national voice of the civil justice reform movement.

Publications Related to Personal Injury and Tort Law

  • Journal of Tort Law

    The only peer-reviewed academic journal in the U.S. devoted to tort law, the Journal of Tort Law1 publishes cutting-edge scholarship in tort theory and jurisprudence from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives: comparative, doctrinal, economic, empirical, historical, philosophical, and policy-oriented.

  • Tort and Personal Injury Law Dictionary

    This is a specialized sub-listing of Duhaime's comprehensive Law Dictionary, where we've grouped terms relevant to personal injury and tort law.

Articles on Related Personal Injury and Tort Law

  • An Alarming Look Back At Fatal New York Traffic Accidents In 2012
    As 2012 draws to a close, it?s natural to wonder what 2013 will bring to New York City traffic safety.
  • Obtaining Long Term Disability Benefits for Mental Health Issues
    Depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are three similar mental illnesses with defining symptoms and characteristics. People afflicted by these mental health issues are often times unable to work, making it difficult to pay bills and other expenses. In this article, we detail the challenges people face while trying to obtain long term disability benefits.
  • Dog Bite Laws In Texas: Why Pit Bulls Should Be Banned or Restrained
    Tens of thousands of people are injured every year from dog bites and attacks, and dozens more are killed each year. As one of the world's leading developed countries, it is both irresponsible and non-progressive to ignore this problem. Other countries around the world have adopted much stricter breed-specific laws and restraint requirements. Unlike the U.S., 12 countries have recognized the dangerous nature of pit bulls and made legislation protecting people from them.
  • Are Your Kids? Christmas Toys Safe? You Might Be Surprised at the Answer.
    4 Unexpected Dangers in Christmas Toys that All Parents Need to Know
  • Higher Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents During Winter
    It doesn't take a scientist to know that the risks of slip and fall accidents increase as the winter comes. Streets and sidewalks become covered with snow and ice, and make even the shortest trip to get the mail, a potential disaster. Read these tips to help keep yourself save during the upcoming winter weather.
  • NHTSA: 2011 U.S. Traffic Fatalities Down by 1.9%
    In its recent press statement posted last December 10, the U.S. Department of Transportation?s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a new data analysis on the occurrences of highway traffic deaths and injuries in the country.
  • The Importance of Seatbelts
    Seatbelts are a great help in ensuring that one is safe from accidents. This restraint system has been o ffered in various vehicles since the 1950s.
  • Bedrail Entrapment in Nursing Homes
    Nursing home neglect can lead to bedrail entrapment, serious injury, and death to nursing home residents that are confined to a bed.
  • Why Oregon Truck Accident Injury Claims Are So Complicated
    Let's face it - auto injury claims are annoying and time-consuming. But, if you've been in an accident with a truck, the claim is even MORE complicated. So, make sure you understand the difference and how to present evidence to ensure a successful claim on your behalf.
  • UCLA Medical Center Received Failing Grade for Patient Safety
    This article discusses the recent failing grade UCLA and other hospitals received for hospital safety. This also covers a problem independent groups are seeing with hospital safety and patient injuries.
  • All Tort and Personal Injury Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Tort and Personal Injury including: animal bites, asbestos mesothelioma, back and neck injury, bicycle accident, birth injury, brain injury, burn injuries, catastrophic injuries, construction accidents, construction injuries, defamation, libel and slander, defective products, industrial injuries, mass tort, negligence, nursing home abuse, pedestrian accident, personal injury, premises liability, product liability, sexual abuse, slip and fall, spinal cord injury, torts, toxic mold, toxic torts, workplace injuries and wrongful death.

Tort and Personal Injury Attorneys