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Personal Injury

Definition - What does Personal Injury mean?

A personal injury is any injury, either physical or mental, which is inflicted on a person by another person's action or inaction. The action can be negligent, intentional, unintentional, or criminal.

If you have been injured due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity and you have suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries.

In tort law, personal injury can occur when a person breaches their duty of care towards another person and carelessly or intentionally harms another person or another person's property. Torts can be classified as negligent torts, nuisance torts, strict liability torts, or products liability torts.

Regardless of the type of tort, however, the remedy for injury or loss can be obtained through a personal injury lawsuit (which is a civil action) and can include compensation to restore the injured party to their previous state.

Proving personal injury

Not all injuries entitle an injured party to compensation through a personal injury claim. To win a personal injury claim the plaintiff or injured person must prove four elements of their tort lawsuit.

Specifically, they must prove the defendant or offender owed them a duty of care, they breached their duty, the breach of the duty was the "proximate cause" of damages suffered by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff was indeed injured or suffered loss.

Common personal injury claims include medical malpractice claims, slips and falls, car accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, asbestos exposure cases, and trucking accidents.

Compensation for personal injury

As mentioned above, if you are injured due to the negligent actions of another person or entity you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injury. Compensation can include payment for economic and noneconomic loss, which includes lost wage compensation, payment for medical expenses and property replacement compensation. Noneconomic damages can include payments for pain and suffering and punitive damages, if warranted.

Should I settle my personal injury claim?

Most personal injury claims are settled prior to filing a case in court.

Generally, the injured party, a personal injury lawyer, and the defendant's insurance company will negotiate a settlement offer. Although negotiations can be done for all personal injuries without hiring a personal injury lawyer, this is not recommended if you have a severe or permanent injury.

Glossary of Legal Terms

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