A personal injury is caused when a person suffers physical or emotional damage from either an intentional tort or an unintentional tort. These can range from vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, dog bites, workplace accidents, to medical malpractice. In legal terms, “tort” simply means a wrongful act in which injury is inflicted on another. The party that committed the tort is called the “tortfeasor”.

Unintentional torts are the result of negligence-the failure of a party to act in a way that could have prevented the damage caused. Examples of negligence are when a physician is careless when performing a medical procedure that results in complications or car accidents caused by drunk drivers. Intentional torts, as the name suggests, are when torts are committed on purpose. They consist of acts such as assault, trespassing, false imprisonment, and fraud.

If negligence is established in a personal injury case, then the defendant must pay for the damages they inflicted. Included in this calculation could be medical bills, property damage, or the wages that the person affected could not earn due to their injury. Punitive damages are also available. These are monetary charges used to punish the defendant and to deter them from committing the act again. However a common argument made is “assumption of risk” which is when a person knows the risks involved in an activity but chooses to proceed, regardless of their knowledge.

Personal injury cases can often be confusing and there are a lot of steps needed to be taken to ensure that the proper evidence is collected to prove or disprove the case. Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, it is important to get an attorney to ensure the proper handling of your case.