What is a personal injury?

The law defines a personal injury as an injury to a person or their property as the result of someone’s else action or failure to act. After a personal injury, the victim may file a lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries and damages arising from the incident.

A personal injury claim is the broad category of specific circumstances that give rise to a personal injury. A personal injury claim can include:

A personal injury may be intentional due to negligence or strict liability. The act is intended when the person acts deliberately to cause a particular result. A personal injury due to negligence occurs when the wrongdoer has a duty to act or fails to act at the standard a reasonable person would under the circumstances. Under strict liability, the at-fault party is liable for causing damage or harm without proving intent or negligence.

Although a personal injury may occur intentionally, negligently or under strict liability, there are two elements they all share – liability and damages. Liability is a legal responsibility for an act or failure to act. Damages are financial compensation for the injuries a victim suffers from a personal injury. The injured party may be entitled to special damages, general damages and punitive damages.

Special damages arise directly from the injury itself. They include medical bills, lost wages and property damage. General damages occur as a result of the injury caused by another person. Such damages include pain and suffering, future effects of the injury, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer for acting in a malicious, grossly reckless, oppressive or violent manner. The amount is typically higher than the amount of the actual damages of the injury.  

Other Personal Injury FAQs:

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