Whether you’re the victim of physical assault, a workplace industrial chemical leak, or a defective product that burned, bruised, or opened your flesh, you are entitled to compensation and this is all protected and enforced by personal injury law.
In legal terms, personal injury refers to not only physical injuries but mental and emotional ones as well.
What is not included under personal injury law is damage to property.
What Qualifies As A Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury case is any case involving a person or party who has suffered harm—either accidental or deliberate—in which another person or party is responsible.
Insurance companies and hospital attorneys are often key players in these types of cases, for obvious reasons—the responsible person’s insurance company is burdened with the medical and legal expenses.
Mental & Emotional Pain & Suffering
As personal injury in the physical sense is typically easy to prove, you might be wondering how you could legally prove something more abstract like injury to the psyche.
This would best be proven with the help of a therapist or counselor who could officially diagnose you with PTSD or other persistent form of mental/emotional trauma resulting directly from the incident in question.
Suffering is suffering, be it physical or mental—that’s how the law sees it, and according to personal injury law, you are entitled to compensation for mental pain and suffering.
How Your Typical Personal Injury Lawsuit Plays Out
Personal injury claims can be filed and carried out in civil court. If you believe you should file a personal injury claim, it’s best to hire an attorney to file this for you and to represent you in court.
During the civil court proceeding, the court seeks to identify those at fault.
These cases are often informally settled before an official lawsuit is filed, in which case all parties involved—the plaintiff, defendant, attorneys, and insurers—negotiate and come to a settlement, which is then followed by a written agreement to resolve the issue through payment rather than further legal action.
However, should a personal injury claim become a formal lawsuit, a judge and jury will decide if the defendant is truly at fault and if so, what is owed to the plaintiff and how it will be paid.
Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, it is crucial that you have an attorney to represent you.
The Importance Of Attorney Representation
It’s rarely a good idea to represent yourself in court. As a matter of fact, if attorneys find themselves in legal trouble, they often don’t represent themselves either. There are two main reasons for this:
- The law is complex, complicated, and esoteric, and it’s basically impossible to be an expert in all legal fields, and
- Attorneys are more than legal experts who explain the law and try to predict outcomes—they are an objective third party offering dispassionate, realistic advice. For attorneys just as much as the average person, this is a very important factor.
More answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury law can be found here.