The law which allows a person who was injured as a result of an accident or any other incident, to take his or her case to the court of law and get compensation for the losses and damages incurred as a result of the accident, is known as personal injury law, or tort law. This system exists to provide an avenue for a person involved in an accident and is subsequently injured due to another person’s carelessness or even intentional actions, to get financial compensation to pay for the damages to person and property alike. There are many facets of personal injury law, but for this article, we will only be looking at the basics.
When it comes to personal injury law, there are a wide variety of situations to which it can be applied. Some of these situations are,
In a case where a person acts in a careless, negligent or imprudent manner which then causes an accident which results in the injury of another party, the issue is resolved under personal injury law. Some of these accidents include cases like vehicle accidents on the highway, medical malpractice and a host of others as well.
2.) INTENTIONAL ACTS
There are also cases where the accidents are not as a result of a negligent behavior or careless conduct but are purposeful and direct acts against another person. In such a situation, such as assault and battery, the case is resolved under personal injury law.
3.) DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS
Now, there are some cases where a defendant can still be found to be guilty in a lawsuit, even without them having displayed any negligent behavior or intentional act towards the plaintiff. Product liability claims as a result of products which have one fault or the other are very good examples of this scenario.
In a situation where the libelous statements of another resulted in a negative impact on another person’s reputation, such a case is handled under personal injury law. Do you have a personal injury case and require professional legal assistance? Then, what you need is a fort worth personal injury attorney.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING PERSONAL INJURY LAWS?
One can trace personal injury laws back to the time of ‘common law rules’. These laws refer to those that were not made by legislatures or taken to the house and passed in a bill but were rather made by a judge.
In a case where a case is heard by a judge, the judge’s ruling becomes binding on all other courts statewide that are ‘below’ the court of the deciding judge. The courts are mandated to handle similar cases the way the judge handled it and give a similar ruling. In time, this becomes binding and the combination of similar precedents become ‘common law’.
Common law differs in various states and as such, so does personal injury law. The Testament of Torts is a collection of the common law and it serves as a sort of rulebook, showing what rules apply to the various cases and what ruling is ideal. Many states consult this book for guidance on issues of personal injury.
However, that being said, common law is not the only means by which personal injury laws are gotten. There have been formal legislations passed as relates to personal injury cases. An example is the laws regarding worker's compensation which was passed by legislators. What this did, was make sure that any future work-related incident would usually be resolved based on the worker's compensation law.
Another thing one needs to consider as relates to personal injury law is the term known as "Statute of Limitations". What this does is limit the time in which a lawsuit can be filed. Failure to file the suit during this time will render the case null and you will be unable to sue again. The statute of limitations is different in various locations.
HOW DOES A CASE INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURY WORK?
Stemming from the fact that there are no two accidents that happen exactly the same way, then one can also conclude that no two cases involving personal injury will be handled exactly the same way. However, speaking generally, there are standard procedures that apply to most if not all cases. These standard procedures occur as follows
1.) PLAINTIFF IS INJURED AS A RESULT OF SOMETHING DONE BY THE DEFENDANT
Aside from a breach of contract, this involves any bad act done by the defendant which then results in the harming of the plaintiff. Breach of contract is handled under contract law.
2.) DEFENDANT IS SHOWN TO HAVE BREACHED A LEGAL DUTY OF CARE
Various situations call for various duties of care. This means a way in which a person has to act in a situation, so as not to cause an accident resulting in the injury of self and others around. For example, drivers on the road owe a duty of care to other drivers on the road and are required to drive properly and in the right state of mind. A doctor in the hospital is required to act competently and work in the same manner which the average medical professional would, in a similar situation.
3.) TALKS OF SETTLEMENT ARE INTRODUCED
There are cases where the plaintiff’s case is so strong that the defendant’s side tries to initiate a settlement out of court. Usually, they would present a monetary offer to the plaintiff which may be open to negotiation, and in exchange, the plaintiff is required to agree not to sue the defendant.
Sometimes, the plaintiff may agree and the case will be put to rest. At other times, the plaintiff may insist on going to court. It should be noted however that even while the case is in court, the settlement talks can still continue, Until the case is given to the jury for a verdict to be reached, a settlement out of court can still occur.