Basics of Personal Injury Law

The law can be a complicated thing for the average person to understand especially when you consider how long lawyers spend learning their practice. However one branch of the law is very easy for even a layperson to comprehend and that is personal injury law. It is an easy concept to grasp but despite its simplicity, it is very important. That is because it can help to take care of victims who have been in ordinary, everyday accidents that were caused by the negligence of someone else.

They are the types of accidents where the victim may not realize that they have the option of filing a lawsuit, but they should. That is because personal injury law is all about making sure that the victim of an accident caused by negligence is able to get back on their feet and get the help that they need. That can be anything from getting help with their medical bills, their repair bills, getting compensation for any lost wages due to having to miss work, and more. If you live in the Jacksonville area and have experienced a personal injury, then visit to get the help that you need.

The Elements of a Personal Injury Case

There are a few elements that need to be present for a case to be considered a personal injury. They are easy to understand and are as follows.

The Party Responsible For the Accident Owed the Victim a Duty of Care

Duty of care simply means that someone needs to act in the way that a reasonable, responsible person would in a given situation, specifically a situation where they can cause harm to others. For example, a driver has a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians and must exercise that duty by obeying the rules of the road and not driving in a reckless manner. A doctor owes a duty of care to their patients by giving them the right treatment options for their condition. Essentially, a duty of care means looking out for your fellow man.

The Duty of Care was Violated

A violation, or breach, of the duty of care, means that someone behaves in an irresponsible way that is likely to cause harm to someone else. This is called negligence and is the basis of all personal injury cases. A negligent driver for example, would be one who is texting while driving instead of focusing all their attention on the road and other drivers. 

The Breach of Duty Caused an Injury to Someone Else

It is not sufficient that a person was negligent in their actions, their negligence must also have led to the actions or circumstances that caused an injury to someone. If a store owner noticed a spill that might cause someone to slip and fall but did nothing about it, then they are being negligent, but they will not get in trouble if no one slips and falls. But if a slip and fall accident does happen to a customer, then the store owner is at fault for any injury suffered by that customer.

The Victim Suffered Losses Because of Their Accident

Losses mean that the accident caused an injury that led to various expenses for the victim. However, the losses can be both financial and non-financial. 

Financial Losses

Medical bills

Vehicle repair bills

Lost wages

Non-Financial Losses

Pain and suffering

Emotional and psychological trauma

Inability to enjoy or perform certain activities

If all four of these elements are present, then the accident victim has a valid right to pursue a personal injury suit.

The Different Types of Personal Injuries

There are many types of accidents that can fall under the umbrella of personal injury, some of them are as follows:

Car Accidents – These are one of the most common types of personal injuries because of the sheer number of them that happen every day. However, only the car accidents that are caused by negligence can be considered personal injuries.

Medical Malpractice – If a doctor prescribes the wrong treatment options and it results in an injury to their patient, then the doctor can be sued for malpractice.

Slip and Fall – This is another common type of accident and can be caused by poor lighting, a spill that creates a slippery surface, uneven surfaces, and more. Whatever the reason, the person in charge of maintaining the safety of the property should know about it and either rectify the problem or post a clear warning about it. If they fail to do either and someone gets injured as a result, then they are liable for that person’s injury.

Product Defect – When a product fails to work as intended through no fault of the user and ends up causing an injury to said user, then the party responsible for the defect is at fault. That could be the manufacturer, the distributor, or the retailer — basically the entire manufacturing and supply chain needs to be examined to find out when and where the defect occurred. Once that is discovered, the responsible party should be held accountable.

Wrongful Death – This is when a personal injury leads to the death of the victim. In cases like these, a representative of the estate of the deceased files a wrongful death suit on behalf of the close relations of the deceased, such as their spouse or children. In wrongful death cases, the compensation is to cover things like funeral expenses, the loss of companionship, the loss of consortium, and other issues caused by the loss of a loved one.

Contact an Attorney If You Have Suffered a Personal Injury

Personal injury law is important because it is all about the rights of the victim, namely their right to be compensated fairly for being injured in an accident that is no fault of their own. That is what makes it different from criminal law, which is all about meting out punishment to the guilty party. 

With personal injury law, the victim comes first and personal injury attorneys always put the interest of their clients first to make sure that they are fairly compensated for their injuries. So if you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney to get the help you need.