Personal Injury Explained

Personal injury claims are among the most common legal proceedings in the United States. Personal injury claims fall under the umbrella of tort law, which encompasses various civil infractions that resulted in injury thus providing a basis for a lawsuit.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 60% of all tort, property and contract trials in the country were personal injury trials. The Bureau also noted that lawyers tried over 7,000 personal injury cases at the state court level in the 75 most populated counties in the United States, and that 16,397 tort cases were tried in a national sample of state courts. These numbers are all the more surprising when you consider this: only 4% of personal injury claims go to trial.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

A personal injury lawsuit is filed after an event that leads to an injury or death. The plaintiff in the lawsuit can file charges as a result of a car accident, medical malpractice, or a construction accident among other events. In filing a personal injury claim, the plaintiff seeks monetary restitution or damages to compensate for having to cope with the aftermath of the accident or event. Damages can be rewarded to pay back lost wages or to reimburse the injured party for medical bills. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, damages for pain and suffering may also be rewarded.

Cause and Effect

The concept of a personal injury case is straightforward: the plaintiff was injured, presumably due to the negligence on the part of the defendant, and is asking that the defendant pay restitution or damages. However, personal injury cases can be extremely complicated, especially when one takes into consideration the way that damages are rewarded by the court (often through complicated formulas) and that the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt on several levels in order for the lawsuit to be viable. If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, it is very important that you seek the counsel of an experienced and respected personal injury attorney. Your attorney can guide you through the sometimes lengthy process of a personal injury case.