It is very difficult for most lawyers to explain in plain language, the intricacies of cases and the law. The reason for this is there is nothing simple or easy about the law. Most of us lawyers spent either 3 or 4 years in law school learning the law, and were awarded the degree of Juris Doctor. After law school we then had to pass a comprehensive Bar examination, as well as a Moral Character examination, to become licensed to practice law. It does not stop there; we then have to complete Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, and continuously keep up to date in new changes in the law to stay on top of our game, this is why it is so critical to retain a competent lawyer if you have a case. Do not attempt to practice law on your own. This will be the subject of an upcoming article.
I will attempt to give a brief overview of what a personal injury case typically consist of, in plain language. I could write a book on the subject. Maybe someday I will. However, the purpose of this article is to give a brief synopsis on what a Personal Injury Case is.
A Personal Injury case is known in the law as a Tort. A personal injury case to a non-lawyer may seem like a simple proposition; however nothing in the law is simple.
Obviously, a personal injury case must involve someone, or an entity being injured. A personal injury case could involve physical, emotional, reputation, privacy, business, and other types of injuries. So the term personal injury is in of itself a bit deceiving.
There are three main types of personal injury cases; (1) Intentional Personal Injury Cases caused by the intentional acts of others or entities; (2) Personal Injuries caused by Negligence of others or entities; and (3) Strict Liability Personal Injury Cases caused by products which have a manufacturing defect or a design defect.
The basic principal of a personal injury case is that a person or entity must have done something, to a person or entity, that causes a person or entity to be damaged, and for which the other person is legally liable.
The basic elements of a personal injury case are: (1) Liability (a person or entity is legally responsible for causing harm to a person or entity); (2) A person or entity suffered damages as a result of the harm; and (3) There is no legal excuse for the person or entity causing the harm. In the upcoming months, I will attempt to write in-depth articles on each element of a personal injury case, but that is not the purpose of this article.
There could be two or more parties to a personal injury case depending upon how many persons or entities are involved. The person or entity that is harmed is called the Plaintiff. The person or entity that is being sued for the harm is called the Defendant.
Often times a defendant or defendants may have insurance that will pay for the harm that they caused.
If you feel as though you have been damaged by an intentional act of a person or entity, by the negligence of another, or by a product defect, do not mess around, call a lawyer to find out if you have a viable case, and to obtain legal representation. There is a saying “Only a fool has himself for a client.” This will be the subject of another article.
By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., Copyright 2006