In American law, the number of matters someone might elect to work with a personal injury lawyer on is impressively large. Personal injuries are a form of civil tort, a branch of law dedicated to rectifying wrongs by providing cash compensation to the party that has been hurt. If you're curious about whether you might have grounds to pursue a claim, it can be helpful to learn about the general concept of personal injuries.
How Can You Be Wronged?
There are essentially three wrongs that might lead to a civil tort case: negligence, recklessness, and malice. Negligence is the unintentional failure of someone to do something a reasonable person would expect them to do in order to prevent harm coming to another human, such as a store owner forgetting to clear their sidewalk after a snow storm. Recklessness is when someone knowingly eschews their responsibility to act with the safety of others in mind, such as a driver swerving in and out of traffic at high speeds. Malice is overtly and deliberately harming someone, such as an angry lover using their car to run over their partner.
All of these ideas are united by the notion that every single one of us has a broad responsibility when it comes to how our actions can harm others. In legal terminology, this is called "the duty of care." Most duties of care are explicitly defined, such as the requirement that a motorist looks for traffic before hanging a turn.
It should not be assumed, however, that the lack of a specific legal definition of duty of care in a particular case presupposes you can't seek damages. For example, it wasn't until the late 1990s that the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in and defined what specific requirements there are for suing a school for not stopping bullying. A personal injury lawyer services firm often has to bring a suit before the system takes the time to define the rules.
How Does Litigation Work?
The vast majority of personal injury claims will be settled or dismissed without ever going to trial. In most cases, a person's counsel will submit a claim to the insurer for the responsible party, and then negotiations will ensure. There's usually some back and forth, and either the claim is accepted and paid, or it's rejected outright. Only with a rejection in hand does a matter usually move to trial.
For more information, contact a company like Borbi Clancy Patrizi, LLC today for a consultation.