Personal injury law is one of those subjects that most people have an inkling as to what it is, but most will never have to experience it. In actuality, you really want to avoid using it if at all possible because doing so would indicate that something has gone horribly wrong and you have suffered some form of injury. Nonetheless, despite the fact that you might take all necessary precautions to avoid having to hire a personal injury lawyer, it pays to have some basic knowledge about the topic itself. From grasping what constitutes a “personal injury” to knowing your rights in the unfortunate instance that you have become injured due to no fault of your own, the information in this post could prove invaluable at some point in your life.
The Idea Of Personal Injury Is As Broad As It Is Deep
The first thing to get to grips with regarding the subject of personal injury is that it is far broader than you might imagine. For instance, slipping on a wet floor in a shopping mall and injuring yourself is just as much a part of personal injury as if you are the victim of medical malpractice. Obviously, these particular cases will warrant a different set of expertise and attornies well-versed in their particular field, but the fact remains that there are numerous aspects that fall into the same category. These Las Vegas personal injury lawyers provide a succinct (but perhaps not exhaustive) list of different injuries that could result in a case that range from dog bites to brain and spinal cord injuries that cause disabilities that could last a lifetime. Once you can wrap your head around the idea that multiple injuries can be grouped under the same umbrella, you will begin to get an idea of just how extensive this area of the legal profession is.
Additionally, it’s crucial to comprehend that personal injury law extends beyond the realm of physical harm. It encompasses instances where an individual has undergone emotional turmoil or mental anguish. It’s also worth noting that personal injury law isn’t restricted to individuals alone. It can also encompass corporations and establishments. For instance, if a business produces a faulty product that inflicts harm on its consumers, the affected parties can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the company.
Understanding The Role Of Negligence In Personal Injury
Negligence plays a central role in many personal injury cases. At its core, negligence refers to a person or entity’s failure to exercise reasonable care. In order to adequately establish negligence in the context of a tort claim, several key elements must be established:
- Duty of care: The first requirement is proving the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff under specific circumstances. This might include an inherent responsibility, such as a doctor caring for a patient as per the earlier medical malpractice point or a shopping mall ensuring its premises are safe. Consequently, if no duty exists, there cannot be negligence.
- Breach of duty: It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care through actions that a reasonable person might find substandard. This might include failing to adhere to health and safety laws, improper signage, inadequate staff training, etc.
- Causation: In addition to the duty of care points, the plaintiff must demonstrate their actions were directly caused by a breach of duty rather than another action. In other words, there must be a causal link between negligence and the resulting harm. For example, a claimant might be unable to sue for damages if they are injured at a sporting event due to their own actions (like stepping out in front of a runner to take a photo).
- Damages: Finally, you can only sue for damages if damage occurs. These could include medical bills, lost earnings, damaged objects, pain and suffering, etc.
If these prerequisites are met, then negligence can be proven, and action can be taken on behalf of the aggrieved. In most cases, you will know whether you have a claim from your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
The Role of Insurance Companies
When discussing damages and compensation, the topic of insurance companies will inevitably rear its head. Insurance companies play a major role as they are responsible for compensating victims under the liable party’s policy. When a plaintiff makes a claim after being injured due to another’s negligence, the defendant’s insurance provider will pay out any settlement or court award. Often the insurer will seek a quick, affordable settlement to avoid costly litigation. They may make a take-it-or-leave-it offer, which the plaintiff can accept or refuse and pursue a lawsuit. If a suit is filed, the insurer provides legal representation and covers all fees for the defendant.
You Will Need A Lawyer To Help You Navigate The Complexities Of Civil Law
There is no aspect of any category of law that is comprehensible to the average layperson. This isn’t due to any particular conspiracy but simply because the law is a complex field that involves a particular way of thinking to comprehend its various facets. In fact, when you see that a law degree is considered an art (BA), you will come to realize that it is more than a dry and staid subject and is actually steeped in philosophy and creative thinking. Regardless of its philosophical roots, the point is that hiring a lawyer is frequently necessary if you are injured and need compensation to cover costs. However, as you have just read, there are a number of factors that constitute personal injury, so hiring an attorney versed in the discipline will be your best course of action. For instance, you should choose a law firm specializing in medical malpractice over one focusing on auto accidents if you have been injured due to a medical procedure that went wrong.
The law is a vast and complex field, and as you have learned through the post, there is no one size fits all approach. This is particularly pertinent regarding personal injury as it covers so much ground. Nonetheless, with the right attorney by your side, and a case worth pursuing, you should find yourself coming out the other end in far better shape.