Legally, a personal injury is an injury to the body, mind, or emotions caused by another party’s negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care. Personal injury law involves legal defenses and civil lawsuits brought against a guilty person or party in response to wrongful conduct.
Most personal injury cases are based on someone else acting negligent. Each member of society has a duty to act responsibility day-to-day and will enough care to avoid putting others at risk. When someone fails to uphold that duty and another person gets hurt as a result, it can result in a personal injury case.
It’s also possible for a personal injury case to arise from someone’s intentional action. For example, if a criminal attacks someone and injures them, the victim may have grounds to bring a personal injury case against them and recover money. In this case, the injury wasn’t caused by negligence, but by an intentional act.
Under Georgia law, once the at-fault party is established as acting negligent in a personal injury case, they are responsible for covering the victims costs resulting from the injury or accident.
What Types of Cases Fall Under the Personal Injury Definition?
Common personal injury lawsuits include injury or wrongful death resulting from automobile (including car and truck) accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, drunk driving accidents, and other forms of negligence.
Here are some examples of accidents and resulting injuries that would fall under the legal personal injury definition:
- A car accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver where the victim is left with whiplash and a totaled car
- Dog bites resulting from an owner letting their vicious dog run free
- Medical complications or long-term disabilities a patient suffers that were caused by a doctor’s medical malpractice
- A customer slipping and falling on water that was not properly cleaned from a grocery store floor, even though the manager was aware of the spill
- Death of a spouse from a truck accident where the trucker fell asleep at the wheel
When a victim is successful in making a personal injury claim (meaning they have demonstrated the accident and their injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else), they may recover damages for ALL costs related to their accident and resulting injuries. Those damages include:
- Medical expenses like doctor bills, hospital visits/stays, and prescription medications, both related to current and ongoing treatment for injuries resulting from the accident
- Travel to and from doctor visits
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Loss of wages for time taken off work due to an accident
- Loss of future earning potential
- Property damages, such as the costs of repairing or replacing a vehicle after a car accident
- Pain and suffering damages, including mental disorders or emotional anguish resulting from an accident injuries
- Punitive damages (in some cases, such as DUI accidents), which are meant to punish the guilty party and hopefully prevent future egregious conduct
For example, in the slip and fall at the grocery store case mentioned above, the victim’s personal injury damages would include physical injuries that resulted from the fall (such as bruises or a headache or concussion) and possibly humiliation from falling in front of other people.
Some types of damages are fairly easy to calculate—like medical bills and vehicle repairs—while others known as pain and suffering damages are more difficult to determine. To ensure you receive the FULL costs you’re entitled to after an accident, it’s best to work with a personal injury lawyer who knows how to determine everything you deserve. Insurance companies will not offer you the highest amount allowed by law on their own—they have a financial incentive to keep payouts low if they can. However, an Atlanta injury lawyer will represent your interests and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Get Legal Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
If you were hurt in an accident, such as a car accident, that wasn’t your fault, it’s likely your case falls under the personal injury definition. Our attorneys specialize in car accidents and other personal injury cases, and we know how to determine the best financial recovery after your accident For a FREE consultation, contact us today by calling (404) 341-6555, or filling out the form to the right.