What is the Personal Injury Law in the United States – Definition, Case, Statute of Limitation, Governing Laws

What is the Personal Injury Law in the United States - Definition, Case, Statute of Limitation, Governing Laws
Visual representation of the United States Personal Injury Law. Image source: Pixabay.com

Every time a mishap takes place, it leaves a certain amount of pain and confusion behind. The fact that accidents and injuries happen quite frequently does not take this away. Thus if you decide to take steps towards protecting your personal legal rights after and accident/injury, you may need answers for a lot of general question regarding “personal injury” cases.

What constitutes a “Personal Injury” case?

These cases are legal disputes arising out of a scenario where one person suffers harm from an accident/injury, and someone else could be held legally responsible for that harm. A Personal injury case takes formal nature via civil court proceedings. These proceedings aim to find others at legal fault through court judgments or through informal settlements preceding the filing of a lawsuit.

  1. Formal “Lawsuit”: A personal injury case starts when a private individual, the “plaintiff” files a civil complaint against another person, business, corporation, or a government agency, alleging that their irresponsible actions caused the accident/injury that harmed them. This act is termed as “filing a lawsuit”. This is unlike a criminal case, where proceedings are initiated by the government.
  2. Informal Settlement: In the real world, most legal disputes regarding accidents/injuries get resolved through informal settlement outside of the courts. This takes place in the presence of those parties that are personally involved in the dispute, their insurers and the attorneys representing both the parties. Settlements commonly happens through negotiations, followed by written agreements in which both parties agree to forego any more legal actions, like filing lawsuits, and choose to resolve the matter through payment of a certain amount of money that they agree upon.

Statute of Limitation: What is it?

Plaintiffs are given a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. This time period is provided under the “Statute of Limitations”. Essentially, this period dictated by a statute of limitations begin when the plaintiff suffers and injury or discovers it.

The Statutes of limitations are established by state laws and differ by the type of injury. For example, Texas provides an individual with two years under the stature to limitation for injuries but five years for sex crimes and one year for libel or slander. This also varies from state to state.

Laws governing Personal injury cases

The development of personal injury law has taken place mostly through court judgments and scholarly writings by legal scholars. Many states have tried to summarize this development in written statutes but for practical purposes the judicial judgments remain as the main source in law for cases relating to personal injuries.

Originally posted 2017-07-14 05:52:30.


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