Personal injury lawyers are lawyers who deal in personal injury cases. Personal injury comes under the ambit of law of torts in the US. The name tort is derived from the French word tort, which means wrong.
Personal injury is a term applied to any damage or harm done to a person�s body, reputation, rights or property. Personal injury can be filed under both civil and criminal law suits depending upon the details of the case.
Personal injury includes, dog bites, motor accidents, wrongful death, product liability, medical malpractice, sexual harassment, emotional duress, bodily harm, damage to reputation, nuisance etc. The person suffering the injury may be able to recover damages from the person/company causing the injury. Damages are financial compensation for loss of income, disability, loss of love and affection, emotional distress, pain etc.
The law of torts is divided into 4 categories: intentional torts, negligence, strict liability and nuisance.
Intentional torts are those torts that are committed by the wrong doer purposely. It includes, battery, assault, false imprisonment, defamation, trespassing, invasion of privacy, causing emotional distress, racial or sexual discrimination etc.
Negligence torts are those wrongs, which are done unintentionally. They are the most common of the tort cases in court. They include product liability (products that are dangerous to the users even when used correctly), medical malpractice, misdiagnosis etc.
Strict liability are those wrongs, which are borne out of occupational hazards and use of dangerous products. They need not be due to negligence of the defendant. Occupational hazards like construction workers, factory workers etc where it is the duty of the employer to provide a safe working atmosphere.
Nuisance are those wrongs which interfere with an individuals use of his land or property. For instance noise pollution by a factory or smoking by individuals in public places like offices etc.
It is prudent to contact a personal injury lawyer in case of injuries to check the merits of the case, to see if a case exists, the amount of damage etc. Contacting an experienced lawyer may work in favor of the plaintiff (the person suffering the injury) as many tort cases are settled out of court, when the defendant (the person causing the injury) feels that the court may award a larger penalty and that the defendant will be involved in a costly litigation and negative publicity.
There are many law firms, which take personal injury cases on contingency basis. Contingency basis means the lawyer gets paid from the claim on winning the case. It is vital to read the contract agreement as the law firm on successfully winning the case may take away a major portion of the claim.
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