What Is Personal Injury in Law?

Personal injury law encompasses an expansive list of damages that may be awarded in a lawsuit, from medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering compensation.

People responsible for an accident or injury can accept liability and offer to compensate victims, or they can deny blame and refuse to make payments.


Negligence is the foundation of many personal injury claims. It involves someone failing to behave as would be expected from them in similar circumstances and then causing harm to another. For damages caused by another party to be considered liability. Negligence plays an essential role in personal injury lawsuits because injured parties seek financial compensation from those responsible – known as plaintiffs. This compensation serves to make them whole again from a financial perspective.

A defendant can attempt to negate one or more of the four elements of negligence by showing they owed no duty to the plaintiff and/or that their breach did not lead directly or proximately to injuries or harm caused. Furthermore, they could claim their conduct was not grossly negligent, which involves more extreme forms of carelessness.

If a defendant can establish that they did not act negligently or with ordinary care, their claim will likely be dropped. However, if their failure to exercise their usual care was a significant contributory factor in causing an accident and injuries, then they will likely be held liable.

Proving negligence can be challenging for victims, particularly when faced with insurance companies or lawyers working against their claim. Luckily, an experienced lawyer will have no trouble gathering all of the necessary evidence in support of his/her client’s claim and presenting it in as compelling a fashion as possible.


Causation is a key element of personal injury cases, proving the actions or inaction of another caused your injuries. Proving causation can be a daunting challenge for plaintiffs but necessary if they wish to recover damages. There are two forms of causation: actual cause and proximate cause; actual causes refers to immediate events that caused harm like falling on broken steps without repairs being performed or warning signs posted – thus being the immediate source of your injuries while proving proximate causes is more challenging since its presence must be reasonably anticipated beforehand.

To establish proximate cause, it’s necessary to show that your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s conduct or lack thereof. Your plaintiff’s lawyer must present evidence proving this fact. One effective way of doing so would be through medical records, witness statements or video footage.

Causation is an integral component of most personal injury cases based on negligence, and failure to prove it could make recovering damages more challenging. Therefore it’s crucial that you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer who will review all details of your case and collect evidence necessary for causation and damages; including economic and non-economic losses which might have resulted from injuries. Their goal will be to restore you back into financial position if they had never occurred in the first place.


Personal injury law encompasses an expansive definition, encompassing harm ranging from physical pain and suffering to mental anguish. It is founded upon the idea that individuals have a right to compensation from those responsible (or failing to act when there was risk), known as tort or civil rights law – this allows individuals and entities who harm them to sue those responsible and obtain justice for damages sustained as compensation from them.

Damages refers to financial awards that a victim can seek in order to compensate them for losses associated with an incident, whether past and future expenses, property or earnings losses or other related harms. Damages can either be economic or non-economic in nature: economic ones cover tangible costs such as medical bills, lost wages and the costs of repairing/replacing damaged property while non-economic ones cover more intangible forms of harm such as pain and suffering, disfigurement or loss of enjoyment of life.

Calculating damages may seem straightforward, but it can be complicated to reach an accurate estimation. Accurate estimates require accessing various medical records and bills as well as an understanding of how the injuries will impact your life long-term – this is why hiring an attorney with experience in this area is essential.


Personal injury cases encompass a broad array of incidents and injuries, generally speaking resulting from someone else’s negligence or intentional act. When an injured party brings suit against someone they claim has caused harm, defendants are the target. Although personal injury lawsuits typically fall under civil jurisdiction rather than criminal proceedings, these defendants can still be charged with violating their duty of care to the plaintiff in these instances.

Personal injury lawsuits depend on both the circumstances of an incident and legal principles that apply; for instance, whether negligence or strict liability laws apply. Motor vehicle accident claims often fall under negligence laws because of breaches to drive safely or produce safe products; medical malpractice suits tend to involve breaches in treating patients properly due to misdiagnosis or surgical errors.

Notably, defendants often employ various defenses in personal injury suits. One such defense might be contributing or comparative negligence claims made against a plaintiff for his or her injuries and should have anticipated risks and dangers associated with an activity; this tactic is frequently employed.

As part of their personal injury claim, defendants often request that plaintiffs undergo a medical exam by an appointed doctor. Failure to comply could incur fines or dismissal from the case altogether.

Time limit

Every state has a time limit known as the Statute of Limitations on personal injury lawsuits. This deadline varies based on what type of accident has taken place, with government entities often having shorter deadlines for filing such suits. It’s wise to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately if you think you may have grounds to bring action, as they can determine exactly when to file their claims and what form should take.

Typically, your injury begins on its date of occurrence; however, there can be exceptions. For instance, if you suffer a traumatic brain injury in an accident and do not immediately realize its extent or should have realized it earlier, legal rules may start counting from when or should have realized your injuries or were aware that your doctor had committed an error.

Meeting legal deadlines is essential because if your claim is filed after its statute of limitations has passed, chances are high it will be dismissed by the court and witnesses can forget details over time, while evidence could vanish altogether or become unavailable – making winning a personal injury claim nearly impossible if missed deadlines occur.

New York allows most personal injury claims three years to file, though the time limit can be shorter if suing government entities. If you need help understanding which statute of limitations applies in your particular case, Goidel & Siegel offers legal counsel that can guide you. Contact them now to explore all available options!