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What is Personal Injury Law?

The law enables people to recover for damages wrongfully caused by others.  The circumstances in which a person seeks to recover in court for physical, mental, reputational, or property damage whether caused intentionally, accidentally, or negligently by another person, a company, or even a municipality or other government agency is one of the broadest areas of the law.  You may hear lawyers or others call this area "tort law." This section deals with non-property related tort law, injuries to the body or mind of a person, otherwise known as personal injury law.

What's a "tort"?

A tort occurs when one person acts wrongfully and, in doing so, causes injury to another person. The injury can occur because of a fall, a car accident, a malfunctioning product, a botched medical procedure, false accusations, poisoning by toxic chemicals, police misconduct, unlawful serving of alcohol to a minor, criminal activity, etc. The list of potential causes of torts is as broad as the activities that occur in society. However, the defining aspect of a tort is the injury—without injury or harm, there is no tort, even if someone acted wrongfully:

  • Example: You slip and fall on a wet floor in a grocery store. If you get up and walk away without any harm, there is no tort and no personal injury case, no matter how careless the store was in not cleaning its floor.
  • Example: A car goes through a red light, causing you to dive to the ground. Again, if you get up and walk away with no injury, there is no tort, despite the actions of the driver.

People injured by the wrongful conduct of others can recover monetary damages by suing in civil court.

What can a personal injury lawyer do for me?

What kinds of "injuries" does personal injury law include?

How do I know if I have been injured wrongfully by someone else?

What if I am sued in a personal injury case?

What if the person who injured me has insurance?

Examples of injuries covered by personal injury law

 

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