What is Considered a Personal Injury Case? (sponsored)

Sponsored article courtesy of Malloy Law Offices, LLC

What is Considered a Personal Injury Case?
Most of us think of law in criminal terms. Fictional police procedurals, true crime stories, and media coverage of criminal incidents are impossible to avoid in our day to day life. But the law does not only deal with criminals and law enforcement officers. Disputes between everyday people can often take on a legal character, with lawyers and judges mediating between parties who simply cannot come to an agreement. Many of these disputes fall into the category of personal injury law. This refers to a vast and broad family of legal subgenres. Let’s cover some of the basics here, starting with a short conceptual and vocabulary lesson.

Despite their vast diversity in severity and circumstance, all personal injury cases will share a few key features. Before exploring their differences, it will be useful to establish these commonalities.

The first similarity is the injury itself. This can mean a physical or mental condition inflicted by a specific incident or accident. While there’s no official minimum degree of severity that a “personal injury” must reach in order to merit legal action, the amount of compensation sought and won will often be proportional to the severity of the injury or emotional trauma. A more serious injury will mean a more serious case.

Next, it is necessary (in brief) to define the legal concept of negligence. This generally comes with a significant degree of complication, and is subject to debate among legal scholars and theorists even today. For the layperson, however negligence can be considered a cousin to fault. In the simplest possible terms; a person can be considered negligent if:

· They had some duty to care for or consider someone else’s health.
· Their conduct ignored or breached that duty.
· Someone else was injured as a result.
· The injured person in question would not have been injured if not for their conduct.

Negligence takes many forms. It can mean driving intoxicated, or without regard for the rules of the road. It can mean running an unsafe work environment. It can even be as simple as someone forgetting to post a wet floor sign after mopping.

In any case, a personal injury case requires an injured person (and their legal counsel) to demonstrate that their injury was caused by the negligence of another party.

With the basic conceptual outline now established, let’s review some of the real-world categories that personal injury cases can take.

Vehicular Accidents
Car, bus, truck, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents account for a large portion of personal injury cases. They’re both common and tend to result in the severe injury and loss of property which would make going to court worthwhile. In addition, the involvement of auto insurance companies as well as local law enforcement provide a solid factual basis for establishing fault and determining whether there was negligent behavior involved in the accident.

In the case of vehicular accidents especially, the question of negligence can be very cut and dry. Remember the earlier concept of a duty to consider the well-being of others. It would be relatively simple to prove negligence on the part of a driver who injures someone while, just as a for-instance;

· Speeding
· Driving While Intoxicated
· Making Illegal Turns
· Driving Against the Flow of Traffic
· Failing to Yield the Right of Way
· Failing to Acknowledge Traffic Signs and Signals
· Any Combination of the Above

Keep in mind, however, that an injured party can also be considered negligent in their own injury. If a pedestrian was hit by a driver while jaywalking, it would be very difficult for that pedestrian to sue the driver. In short; remember that traffic safety laws and regulations are not just meant to regulate your individual behavior, they’re meant to protect others on the roads.

Premises Liability
You likely know premises liability cases by another name: slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. But these cases are more complex than that name would suggest.

Once again, the concept of negligence is the keystone of determining when a personal injury case is justified. Premises liability cases center on the duty of care that is owed to guests on a property by the owners of that property. Whether that’s a business ensuring the safety of its customers by posting appropriate signage to warn of potential hazards or a homeowner making sure their sidewalks are salted in icy weather, property owners can prevent injuries and legal action through diligence and proactivity. If the property owner knew about some potentially dangerous condition and failed to inform guests of its presence, this could be considered negligence.

However, the following should be kept in mind:

1. These protections are only afforded to people present on a property by the owner’s consent (with exceptions for professionals like mail carriers whose work requires them to venture onto private property). If a burglar required stitches after slicing their hand on broken glass while attempting to enter a home through the window, they would not be able to sue the homeowner for negligence.

2. If the injured person ignored verbal warnings or failed to read posted signage informing them of a hazard, it would likely be ruled that the property owner acted appropriately and that the injury was the injured person’s own fault.

Worker’s Compensation
While technically a government program intended to grant benefits to injured workers, personal injury attorneys often play a vital role in filing worker’s compensation paperwork and advocating for injured workers to receive the benefits they are entitled to. In cases of severe negligence on the part of the injured person’s employer, a personal injury attorney may even eschew the worker’s comp process entirely in favor of direct personal injury legal action.

How Malloy Law Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, contact Malloy Law Offices today for a free consultation. Our experienced and diverse team is home to Montgomery County’s personal injury specialists. We’re standing ready to fight for your compensation and support your recovery with empathetic and attentive service. Don’t face your recovery alone, contact Malloy Law today.

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