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What Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?

What Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?

There are many reasons people choose to sue one another

. One type of lawsuit is for personal injury. This means that a person has been hurt due to someone else's negligence and is suing to recover for damages. These damages are generally assigned a monetary value including doctor bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment from life and lost income, among others.

The individual or company who is suing is called the plaintiff. The person or entity being sued is called the defendant. Each state has its own guidelines for what the plaintiff has to prove in order to recover damages. If the case goes to trial, it could be heard in front of a judge or a jury. Otherwise, it may involve a lawsuit settlement or be dropped altogether.

Any injury inflicted on a person's mind, body or emotions, regardless of how it happened, is considered a personal injury. This covers a broad range of categories, but does not include damage to personal property.

Slip and Fall CaseWhat Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?

When a person visits a property of a business, such as a store or hotel, they have a right to expect the premises is safe under ordinary circumstances. When someone trips on a grape in the produce department of a grocery store and falls and breaks their ankle, they may have grounds to sue for negligence. Some states have rules regarding the circumstances over recovery. For example, was the person was paying attention to what they were doing, where they were walking or if they even had a right to be on the property.

Car Accident Case

Automobile accidents can result in lawsuits. Usually, one driver is suing another for auto collision and causing physical injuries. While insurance agencies are frequently involved in covering damages from medical bills, some people are uninsured or not covered for the full amount. In other cases, the insurance company may refuse to pay, saying it was not their client's fault or only partially.

Medical Malpractice Case

Regardless of why a person visits a medical professional, they are going for medical attention. Whether it is a check-up, diagnosis, surgery, x-ray or treatment, patients have a right to expect reasonable care. Although all medical procedures come with certain risks, negligence and disregard for the standard of care should not happen. Further injury, death and a permanently altered lifestyle may be grounds for a legal claim.

Industrial Disease Case

Some jobs are considerably more dangerous than others. Problems from normal risks associated with certain occupations are not grounds for suing an employer. It is the unforeseen illness that may result in someone seeking their day in court. Asbestos, for example, has been the subject of legal battles for many years. The plaintiffs claim that their employers knew exposure to the fibers was fatal, causing a permanent lung disease called asbestosis. Once used in trades like automobile brake manufacture, shipbuilding and insulation, workers and some of their family members inhaled asbestos fibers that built up in the lungs and made them sick.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit does not mean that someone will invariably recover damages from settlement or trial. It is the first step in the U.S. legal system and should be done only under the advisement of an attorney.

by: Christine Harrell
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