Personal Injury

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When someone is physically or emotionally injured, or his or her personal property is damaged, it is considered in law to be a “Personal Injury.” The laws covering personal injury allow the injured party to receive compensation for damages caused by someone else’s carelessness, negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. Personal injury law is also called “tort” law. State and federal governments have enacted tort laws for the protection of your rights. Tort actions have 3 elements: There must be a legal duty between the defendant (the one doing the wrong) and the plaintiff (the person injured); there must be a breach of that duty; and damage must occur because of that breach. When all 3 elements are present, a personal injury or tort has occurred.

Liability

The laws of our society place demands on all citizens not to harm others. This means that not only people, but their possessions as well, should be safe from harm. Whenever someone else harms you or something that belongs to you, they become liable to answer to the tort laws governing the situations. Liability can be caused by intentional acts, torts, or by negligence. An intentional act is one designed to cause harm or injury. A negligent act occurs when someone fails to take appropriate action and you are harmed as a result of that failure. For example, if an angry person throws a brick through your car window, that is an intentional tort (it may also be a criminal action). On the other hand, if a careless driver runs into your car, that is a negligence tort. In the first case, the defendant wanted to cause an injury; in the second case, the defendant did not want to injure you but failed to take the appropriate action to prevent injury. In both cases, the defendant had a duty not to injure you or your property, because our laws and society create that duty. The duty was breached by the intentional or negligent actions of the defendant, and damage to your person or property resulted.

Damages

Once a personal injury has occurred, the defendant is liable to pay for the damages. “Damages” is the term for whatever is owed to you to compensate you for your loss. You and the injuring party, through insurance settlements or by other means, can agree upon damages. But often the damages offered to you may not fully compensate you for your loss. This is especially true if you have suffered physical injury and have not been able to work. Personal injury law is the mechanism for determining who is in the wrong, or in other words who is “liable,” and what the liable person should have to pay for the damage caused.

What You Should Do

If you are the victim of a personal injury, there are several things you can do to help yourself. First of all, make sure you seek proper medical attention and that you follow up with the proper authorities and your own insurance company. If you believe your injury was caused by the carelessness or intentional act of another, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss this. You should call as soon as it is convenient to do so and avoid discussing the matter with strangers and/or insurance representatives who are not from your own insurance company. You should be cooperative with the police, your own treating physicians, and your own insurance company. Most personal injury cases are covered by a statute of limitations, which means you only have a certain period of time in which you can file a lawsuit.

We Can Help!

If you or a loved one need legal assistance, call the Law Office of Lucido & Manzella, P.C. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation. Call us now (586) 228-3900.