A personal injury is defined as any physical injury to an individual that is the result of someone else’s negligence. Typically, personal injuries result from motor vehicle accidents (ATV, automobile, boat, bus, motorcycle, truck, van), animal and dog attacks, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, prescription negligence, product failures, slips and falls and workplace injuries. A personal injury accident can leave you with large medical bills, lost wages, damages to your person or vehicle, as well as emotional and mental trauma.
“Personal injury” is the general title given to civil wrongs, otherwise known as torts, which cause bodily injury or harm to a person or his or her property. A tort assigns responsibility to an individual, group or corporation (defendant) for causing injury to another person (plaintiff). The purpose of personal injury law is to compensate the victim for their injury.
The compensation that a victim may receive is called “damages”. There are two types of damages available to victims of a personal injury:
- Compensatory damages: referred to as actual damages in the US, and paid to compensate the personal injury victim for loss, injury or harm suffered because of someone else’s negligence, reckless behavior or malicious conduct.
- Punitive Damages: compensation in excess of actual damages, and awarded to deter the defendant from pursuing a similar course of action in the future.
Physical personal injury can include loss of limbs, permanent or disfiguring scars and temporary or permanent disabilities. Mental harm might include emotional trauma, mental anguish, embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life’s activities or nightmares. Whether your injuries were caused by an accident, reckless action, or malicious intent, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries.
More than 31 million people are injured in accidents every year, according to the National Center for Injury Protection and Control. As many as 90,000 people die as a result of these injuries. If you have been injured in Florida (FL), or have lost a loved one due to negligence, you should consult with a Florida personal injury lawyer to better understand your legal situation. Often, the initial attorney consultation is free, and your attorney will help advise you of your options, while ensuring your legal rights are protected.