What Is Personal Injury?
In general terms, personal injury covers all the cases where you suffer from the injuries caused by another person or by a defective machine or product. However, because different laws and different legal procedures often apply to different situations, the lawyers have specialized in different areas.
Most personal injury attorneys deal mainly with accident cases where one person negligently hurts another person. Often a personal injury lawyer will also handle slip and fall cases because most of the slip and fall injuries are caused by someone not cleaning or maintaining a floor, parking lot, or other walking surface. Also, a personal injury attorney will usually handle severe dog bite cases because in many of these cases, dog owners are negligent in controlling their dog.
However, if you are injured at work, you may have a personal injury claim, but you usually need a worker’s compensation attorney. This is because each state has specific laws which are applicable when you are hurt at work. And these laws are different from normal negligence laws. Also, each state has a special worker’s compensation commission or board which handles these cases instead of the regular court system.
For other cases, such as medical malpractice, product liability, class action, etc., you generally need an attorney who specializes in the area of medical malpractice, product liability, class action, etc. The reason that you need a specialist is that these types of cases are unique and technical. Often, there are specific laws and legal procedures which apply to these types of special cases, but do not apply to normal cases.
Things to Prove in a Personal Injury Case
Specific personal injury law varies from state to state, but all personal injury laws are based on actions of people where their actions are negligent, reckless, or wilful. Because negligence is the lowest level and requires the least amount of proof, it is discussed here. There are four facts that must be proved in a negligence case.
- The person who injured you had a duty to act in a certain way
- The person who injured you breached or broke his/her duty.
- The breach or breaking of the duty is what caused you to be injured.
- You were injured.