Find out more about personal injury law


By TheLaw.TV

Personal injury cases, are a subset of torts – or private or civil wrong – where the victim seeks damages in court. While negligence makes up the bulk of the legal cause of action in personal injury cases, there are alternative theories of liability as well, including recklessness, intentional torts, and strict liability. Negligence cases most often must demonstrate (1) a duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant, (2) a breach of that duty, (3) compensable injury to the plaintiff, and (4) a causal connection between the breached duty and the plaintiff's injury. Recklessness is a slightly higher standard, and is usually defined as a "conscious disregard of a substantial risk of harm." Intentional torts involve a tort-feasor (defendant) acting with the specific intent to act (although not necessarily to cause the harm), and often includes: assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Under strict liability torts, usually limited to situations believed to be inherently dangerous (e.g., dynamite explosions) or in the case of product liability (defective and dangerous products, including the failure to warn), plaintiffs need not prove intent to act or recklessness or negligence, but rather only that the defendant was responsible for the tort. The injury alleged may be for physical, mental, emotional, property, or economic injuries, and may also include claims for wrongful death.

Individuals may defend against personal injury claims with a variety of defenses. In additional to arguing that the plaintiff failed to prove his or her case, a variety of affirmative defenses also exist, including assumption of risk, consent, defense of others, defense of property, necessity, self-defense, shopkeeper's privilege, and statute of limitations. Some jurisdictions bar recovery for plaintiffs in personal injury cases when the plaintiff is more than 50% (or half) at fault. These jurisdictions are called "contributory negligence" states. Other states follow "comparative negligence" and reduce damage awards by a percentage amount that corresponds to how much at fault the plaintiff was in the tort. For example, if a jury determines that in a bicycle accident case that the plaintiff was 33% at fault, but was entitled to $60,000 in damages – the damage award would be reduced by $20,000 (or 1/3 of the damages).

One of the most well-known personal injury cases is the so-called "slip and fall" case. In the prototypical case, a shopper at a store slips and falls down, sustaining an injury – and then sues the owner for negligence. This may involve a newly waxed floor, a spilled liquid, or even the classic banana peel on the ground. Similar personal injury cases may also happen on construction sites to visitors or construction workers, on boats or cruise ships, or at or on the ocean. Similarly, person injury cases may result as part of plane accidents or in swimming pools. What typically separates slip and fall cases from these other torts is that the latter involve the violation of particular rules or regulations of the site of the injury. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set up particular rules for construction sites; the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulate or investigate planes and the airline industry; and states and other governments regulate boats, lakes, rivers, oceans, and navigable waters. In personal injury cases, often violating a statute or regulation can be termed "negligence per se" – and obviate the need for proving the breach of duty in a tort case.

Injuries sustained from dog or other animal bites may also give rise to a personal injury case. This may result from a dog or other animal owner knowing of a propensity for the dog to bite, either because of past behavior or because of the type of breed of the dog. The crux of the issue is typically whether the owner failed to control a known risk of harm to others.

Some person injury cases, such as swimming pool accidents, involve a host of other issues – including whether establishments provided trained life guards, whether the drains to the pool were unsafe, and whether the pool was deep enough for the use of a particular sized diving board. Swimming pools may result in particular injuries to the brain, spine, or even the intestines. Some attorneys specialize in brain injuries or spinal injuries, as familiarity with particular injuries and prototypical methods of injury can be helpful in bringing a cause of action.

Source: http://thelaw.tv/news/2012/08/11/personal-injury/

PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. This website contains attorney advertising. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. THELAW.TV, LLC and our media partner, Berkshire Hathaway, and its parent company and subsidiaries, are not law firms. THELAW.TV is an advertising platform for lawyers. THELAW.TV is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal service plan. The sole basis for inclusion of the participating lawyers or law firms is the payment of a flat fee. THELAW.TV and our media partner, Berkshire Hathaway, and its parent company and subsidiaries, do not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who appears on this website. THELAW.TV, LLC and our media partner, Berkshire Hathaway, and its parent company and subsidiaries, do not make any judgments as to the qualification, expertise, or credentials of any participating lawyer, other than to ensure that the lawyer is licensed to practice in their state and is currently a member in good standing of their state bar. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. THELAW.TV, LLC and our media partner, Berkshire Hathaway, and its parent company and subsidiaries, provide information designed to help the public better understand the law and the legal process. But legal information is not the same as legal advice, which is the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. THELAW.TV, LLC and our media partner, Berkshire Hathaway, and its parent company and subsidiaries, do not represent and/or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any information or advice contained in, distributed through, or linked, downloaded, or accessed from any of the materials contained on this website. The legal Q&A videos are informational only and are not intended to provide legal advice. Please consult a lawyer regarding your specific situation. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that the lawyer's information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon the materials herein shall be at your own risk. Any information you submit to THELAW.TV may not be protected by attorney-client privilege. Thank you. 

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THELAW.TV. This site and all content, information and services accessible through it ("THELAW.TV") is made available by THELAW.TV, a Florida LLC, ("THELAW.TV"), and may be used only under the following terms and conditions. BY ACCESSING AND USING THELAW.TV, YOU ("User") AGREE TO BE LEGALLY BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH HEREIN (the "Agreement"). - See more at: http://thelaw.tv/miami/About/disclaimer#sthash.BKSoHKgu.dpuf