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Tort Claims for Personal Injury: A Legal Explanation

Personal injury is the law providing for compensation and defense pertaining to civil court cases emanating from wrongful actions. Civil cases (not criminal wrong doing) resulting to personal injury are defined as torts. These cases involve a claimant privately seeking compensation, usually in the form of money, for harm resulting from the defendant’s action.

Negligence–The Legal Fundamental

The doctrine of negligence forms the basis for most valid personal injury cases. Primarily, the doctrine requires every member of the society to act in a responsible manner and avoid exposing others to risk. But in some occasions, acting negligently does fail to harm someone. The liability standard, as per the doctrine, is thus attained if the claimant proves the actions of a reasonably prudent individual would have differed in the same situation as the accused.

Situations Involving Negligence

A negligence case may exist in a car accident caused by a drunk driver or medical complications following reckless acts or inactions of a doctor. Any dog attack occuring when a ferocious animal is let loose by its owner is potential grounds for negligence. In each case, the responsible party neglected their duty of reasonable care, causing injury to the plaintiff.

After a court finds the defendant to have been negligent in personal injury litigation, the defendant must pay the victim for all the pain, damage, or loss incurred due to the specific tragedy. Loss/damage of property and medical bills are some of the losses that are easy to calculate. Yet, quantifying mental distress and lost earning potential usually calls for professional input. In some personal injury cases, punitive damages may be sought to discourage specifically egregious conduct.

Typical Tort Cases and Their Legal Defenses

Other causes may apply in personal injury legalities beyond just negligence. The majority of the cases are classified as premeditated torts. Just like the name suggests, the cases involve a defendant that acts deliberately to harm the victim. Such torts may include battery, assault, wrong incarceration, and theft.

On the far end of tort law are incidents where the respondent is deemed at fault even when they can prove their reasonable efforts to avoid causing others injury. Strict liability is the classification of such cases, where the law finds the at-fault individual strictly liable in case they participated in a highly unsafe action that ends up harming someone, regardless of legality of the activity or prior implementation of precautionary measures. Examples of strict liability cases are building demolition and transportation of dangerous material, such as petroleum.

You can defend against personal injury liability in several ways. For claims of negligence, the accused may claim the victim never observed reasonable care, and is responsible for their injury, fully or partly. The victim’s conduct could also prove assumption of the risk on their part.
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