Getting injured, even if it is a minor injury, is often startling and a bit frightening. Getting seriously injured is usually scary. Getting injured because of someone else’s negligence, malice, or recklessness can be downright frightening, as well as physically and emotionally devastating. In the United States, when someone is injured because of one or more of these reasons, the victim may be entitled to monetary compensation for expenses related to their injury, as well as for things such as pain and suffering. In the horrific event a person dies because of another party’s actions (or inactions) their surviving family members may be entitled to hold the party that wronged their loved one, accountable for their wrongdoings via a personal injury claim.

Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law is often referred to as tort law. Personal injury or tort law allows an injury victim and/or their surviving family members, to make a civil claim to get a legal remedy for damages (also called, losses) that stem from an accident or other incident. The term tort comes from a Latin term that means, to twist, wrong or harm. Tort law is completely separate from criminal law that specifically deals with a party or parties’ breaking a law of the government where the crime occured. A tort action involves a private citizen (the plaintiff) seeking compensation for harm caused by the wrongful party or parties (the defendant or defendants). Most personal injury claims are based on the negligence of a party that exposed a victim to risk and caused them harm. It is understood that some accidents or situations that harm people or make them ill, are unavoidable. Unfortunately though, many of these accidents and situations could have been avoided if the party or parties that caused them, had behaved responsibly and avoided putting the victim at risk. Other reasons for personal injury claims include when someone is injured because of another party or parties’ malice or recklessness.  

Injury or Illness

There are many, many different kinds of injuries and illnesses that may warrant the victim filing a personal injury claim. People can get injured or become ill in many different circumstances and settings. In the context of a personal injury claim, when someone becomes ill or unwell because of another party’s negligence, malice or recklessness, it is still called an injury even though it may be an illness or condition that is making them unwell, rather than an injury. Personal injury claims can involve physical and/or mental (cognitive) and/or psychological/emotional injuries. 

State Personal Injury Laws

In addition to there being many, many different kinds and causes for personal injury claims, it is important to note that while many states have similar personal injury laws, each state has laws that are specific to that state. Because of this, if someone needs a personal injury lawyer, it is important that they enlist the help of one that is licensed to practice in the state where their injury occurred or wherever the case will be tried if the claim goes to trial.