Personal Injury (PI) Law, as any branch of law has it’s own unique vocabulary and important elements. This article will give an overview of PI Law and act as a primer if you are considering hiring a PI attorney.
Personal Injury 101
What types of cases fall under Personal Injury Law? The list is large, but below are the two most common categories:
When another (defendant), due to negligence, injures someone (plantiff), there may be a personal injury case. Examples of these types of cases include : Auto Accidents, Trucking Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Boating Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse to name a few. These injuries may also include emotional and financial distress in addition to physical injuries.
When injuries occur due to some defect in a product, there might be a personal injury case. These defects could be in design or manufacturing. Oftentimes, these cases take an extended amount of time and sometime result in class action lawsuits.
Who Makes Personal Injury Laws?
Personal Injury Laws do differ from state to state. There are more things in common than differ, and the history of personal injury law has its roots in Common Law. Personal Injury Law existed in some form since biblical times, but came into its own in the late 1970’s. Included below is a nicely done infographic on the history of Personal Injury Law from the Law Offices of Kevin P. Landry.
The Roadmap for a Personal Injury Case
The most common road map involves the following:
Step 1: Defendant Does Something to Injure Plaintiff.
Step 2: Plaintiff Determines that Defendant Breached a Legal Duty.
An experienced Personal Injury Attorney will look at the circumstances of your accident, and determine if the defendant breached a legal duty, resulting in injuries or damage to the plaintiff.
Step 3: Settlement Discussions.
If the evidence is clearly in favor of the Defendant, oftentimes the Plaintiff (person or entity, such as an insurance company or business) may wish to settle the case out of court. If the case is not settled out of court, then a jury trial will decide the final decision if the case, after hearing both sides.