Personal injury is the area of the law that focuses on injuries to the body, mind, or emotions. Personal injury law is based on a very simple idea:
People have a right to be safe and not physically or emotionally hurt by others, and those that are negligent and harm others are responsible for the damage caused.
There are many different kinds of personal injury cases. Injuries to the body can obviously be very severe, and include head injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ injuries, bone injuries, skin injuries, and death. The physical manifestations of these injuries run the gamut from brain damage, concussions, paralysis, broken bones, deep lacerations, facial disfigurement, amputations, and innumerable other types of injuries to the body.
Injuries to the mind and to the emotions include mental anguish, suffering, loss of companionship, severe depression, and a host of other harms to the way people feel. Injury to emotions and the mind can often be just as severe, or even more severe, than physical damage to the body.
Personal injuries can be caused by many different types of persons or things, including but not limited to other people / companies, dangerous products, dangerous drugs, dangerous or malfunctioning equipment, and a host of other causes.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person or a family member sues the party responsible for their injuries, and asks the Court to order that person to pay them money damages. The person responsible could be an individual. Or, it could be the company that person works for. Or, it could be the manufacturer of a dangerous product. Or, it could be the manufacturer of a dangerous drug. Although no amount of money can turn back the clock or reverse the damage that occurs in a personal injury situation, the law is designed to require responsible people to pay an amount that fairly compensates those they have hurt.
The typical types of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit include medical damages, lost earnings, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress. If the wrongful conduct that caused the injury was done intentionally or maliciously, the responsible party may be liable for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the guilty parties, in part to ensure that they do not commit such conduct again.
Insurance companies are often involved in personal injury lawsuits. Frequently, the person responsible for harming someone else maintains insurance to protect them if they negligently harm someone else. The most common example of this is car insurance. All states require licensed drivers to have insurance in case they negligently cause an accident.
If an accident occurs, the insurance company has a responsibility to pay the damages. Most companies also carry insurance policies, often worth millions of dollars. This is particularly true for companies that engage in risky business, such as the transport of hazardous materials. If a company truck is involved in an accident and harms people, the company’s insurance company has a responsibility to cover the damages.
Morrow & Sheppard focus on personal injury law because at its core, it’s about helping individuals who have been hurt and need help. Contact us now for a free, confidential consultation to find out how we can help.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.