The basis for filing a personal injury or tort law claim involves two essential things: liability and damages. If you are able to prove both, you will receive compensation for your claim. This article will discuss some of the basics of this law.

What Is Personal Injury?

Personal injury occurs when an individual sustains damage from an incident. If another entity was at fault, recompense for that damage can be sought. Craig Swapp explains how the goal of personal injury law is to recover fair and full compensation for economic and noneconomic losses that a client has suffered as a result of an injury. Personal injury law covers a wide range of situations in several different categories. 

Probably the most common type of personal injury law involves accidents. For purposes of this discussion, that term includes occurrences that are caused by someone’s negligence or carelessness. Situations such as medical malpractice, car accidents, and slip-and-fall incidents are in this category. The word “accident” does not mean that someone wasn’t liable. 

Personal injury can also result from an intentional act. This is when an individual purposefully causes harm to another. A common example is an assault and battery. 

Defective products may also be the source of personal injury. Although the harm in this situation may not have been intentional, the resultant injury is still the fault of the manufacturer.

How Are Personal Injury Laws Created

Infographic Journal describes how legal systems have been around since ancient history, but personal injury law didn’t truly come to be in the U.S. until the 1900s. Its original concepts were largely derived from old common law rules. Common law is determined by judges and is not passed through the legislative process. When a judge decides a case, that decision sets a precedent to all lower courts in that jurisdiction. Personal injury law varies from state to state and may be applied differently across the country. 

The majority of common law tort law can be found in a guidebook called the Restatement of Torts. This book basically explains the rules of the law and how to apply them. Most states refer to this source. Some state legislatures have also passed specific laws pertaining to personal injury law. An example of this is worker’s compensation laws.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you can file a claim when seeking financial compensation for your personal injury. Every state has a specific time period in which you can file a personal injury claim. This time limit will vary from state to state. Work Injury Source contains a chart that lists these different time frames. In some states, the limitation is a year to file an automobile personal injury claim. If you miss the deadline, your case will be thrown out.

Case Settlement

You always have the option to settle a case out of court. A settlement basically means that you accept a certain amount of compensation by the defendant in exchange for dropping the case. You would have to sign a document that would release the defendant from any future liabilities. 

A settlement can be reached before trial or during the trial if a verdict has not yet been reached. Typically, a settlement is based on the probability of getting a favorable verdict. This applies to both the plaintiff and the defendant. Either side can initiate settlement talks. You should always consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer. It is important to remember that the decision to accept or decline a settlement offer is completely yours. 

Personal injury law is very complex and covers a broad area. If you have been involved in an accident or harmed by another person, you may have a personal injury claim. You should always discuss your options with a lawyer.

Here’s another article you might like: Who is at Fault in a Personal Injury Case?