Personal injury is a legal term for either carelessness or an intentional act that leads to personal harm. Sometimes personal injury negligence involves a careless action that injures another person, such as causing a motor vehicle wreck. In other cases, it may involve failure to take a necessary action. For instance, if a property owner fails to take steps to remove ice from a sidewalk or clean up a spill in a grocery store and someone falls on it, this may be considered personal injury negligence. Personal injury may also involve an intentional act such as an assault or hitting someone with a car intentionally. If a person’s or company’s negligence or intentional act leads to injury of another person, the person injured will likely have a claim against the person causing the injury. For example, a person who slips on a store’s wet floor may begin a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the store. Slipping and falling, however, may not be enough to ensure that the person will win the lawsuit. In most places, the injured party will have to demonstrate that the defendant failed to live up to a duty, and that failure caused his injury. He will usually also have to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or lack of action caused him to suffer damages.
A plaintiff in a personal injury claim has to show that he suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s actions or inaction. For example, a person may suffer such damages as medical costs and time off work after an injury. If a person becomes disabled because of another party’s negligence, the damages he suffers may include the loss of his occupation and money to support himself. Damages may also include the pain that the person has had to endure from the time of the injury. Damages are viewed from the time of the injury to the present. But they can also include damages into the future if it can be reasonably shown that medical expenses, financial loss, pain, etc. will continue into the future.
Another vital element to a personal injury claim is that the person or company causing the harm has some manner of paying for the damages. In most cases that involves liability insurance. However, it can also come from the person’s or company’s financial or property assets if those assets are significant.