Legal Definition of Personal Injury
By Chris Kramer
While there may not be one overarching legal definition of "personal injury", a personal injury generally results from an accident caused by negligent or intentional actions or omissions of another party.
A personal injury may occur to a person’s body, mind, or even emotions. While these lawsuits typically focus on bodily harm, including wrongful death, they may also address mental suffering and damage to physical property.
If you have recently suffered an injury, and believe you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, fill out the brief form below for a free consultation with a local attorney.
Unpacking the Legal Definition
Personal injury law covers a remarkably broad range of accidents and injuries. While the legal definition of personal injury is fairly vague, listed below are some of the types of injuries that may lead to a personal injury settlement:
- Physical injuries. These are the most obvious types of personal injury, and range from the mundane, such as a sprained ligament, to the severe, like a brain or spinal injury. If injuries result in death, the family may file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
- Mental injuries. Many accidents cause a number of psychological ailments, including stress, depression, and reduced mental ability. Mental injuries may include sexual harassment and verbal abuse on the job.
- Emotional harm. In addition to injuries of the mind or brain, injured people may also pursue compensation for emotional suffering they experience as a result of their accident.These damages may make it difficult or impossible to lead a normal life at home or return to work.
As you can see, the legal definition of personal injury allows injured parties to pursue legal relief for several different types of personal suffering.
Personal injury laws vary widely by state, and a local injury lawyer may help provide more information.
Types of Injury Accidents
The next question is whether the particular cause of a person’s injury may lead to a valid personal injury claim.
In short, a personal injury lawsuit may arise from an intentional act (like assault or battery), a negligent act (like driving through a stop sign), or strict liability (some entities are automatically liable for certain kinds of injuries).
Common types of incidents that often lead to personal injury claims include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Police brutality
- Sexual abuse
- Product liability cases
With over 250 years of development, state common laws in America have precedent for thousands of different kinds of injury cases, which is why the legal definition of personal injury covers such a wide range of accidents.
To learn more about whether you may be eligible to file an injury claim, contact a local injury lawyer today.