What Is Personal Injury Law?

Published by grandelaw on

Personal injury law is a body of law formed around past decisions made by judges which are the basis of “common law” — otherwise known as case law or binding precedent. Its purpose is to allow a legal means for one who is injured to seek damages against those responsible.

Despite attorneys frequently advertising in a specific area of law, there’s a sense in which all lawyers are the same. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are earned in specific fields, like mathematics or biology, and professional degrees in medicine often involve a specialization like general surgery, oncology, or pediatrics, but law is different.

Every law student takes broadly similar courses and ends up getting the same degree as their classmates. With the exception of patent law, which requires certain background degrees and additional study, no attorney may officially specialize in any specific practice area.

This lack of specialization at the education stage may confuse clients into believing that any lawyer is good enough for their situation.

This cannot be further from the truth.

Personal Injury Law Requires Specialized Knowledge

If someone is in a car crash, the insurance company would much rather the person have poor, inexperienced representation than to be backed by a skilled attorney who fully understands the subject of personal injury. If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligent or careless actions of any other person or company, you should find a good Providence personal injury lawyer with a proven track record of resolving these types of cases. Finding a good personal injury lawyer makes all the difference when advocating for yourself, and especially important to get the compensation one deserves after such an accident.

Personal injury law involves extremely specific situations, where one person has suffered physical harm that another person can be held legally responsible for. For example, if you are walking down the sidewalk and a person pushes you onto the roadway, you have suffered harm (the injuries from the fall) that someone else has caused. Of course, a scraped knee and wounded pride may not be enough financial motivation to go through the strain and stress of a lawsuit, and even if you won, you might not be able to recover anything from the responsible party. However, slightly different situations could be a very different story.

Some examples of where specialized knowledge in personal injury law is critical are listed below.

Car Accident Claims

Drivers face daily a constant danger from other vehicles whenever they are behind the wheel. All drivers, no matter how experienced or careful, are prone to making rash or innocent mistakes that can have serious consequences. Driving deaths and injuries are all too common, and someone can always be held responsible. In addition to criminal penalties from causing an accident, a liable driver can be sued in court to compensate the victims injured in the accident. The high frequency of car accidents and the significance of injuries make this one of the most frequent types of personal injury cases. A good personal injury lawyer can help someone who was involved in a car crash get the compensation they deserve.

Medical Malpractice Claims

Patients place tremendous faith in the recommendations and skill of their physicians. An incorrect decision or mistake by the doctor can have far-reaching consequences in patients’ lives, sometimes causing irreparable harm. An incorrect diagnosis, an unnecessary procedure, or a negligent mistake can be deadly. If the negligent doctor is to be held accountable, the injured patient needs an experienced lawyer in order to receive the best compensation possible.

Nursing Home Negligence

With fewer and fewer people able to care for elderly relatives in their own homes, and a burgeoning retiree population, the number of older Americans entrusted to nursing homes is growing. Most nursing homes are safe and the employees are responsible. However, in some cases, either due to negligence or reckless disregard, nursing facilities provide terrible care that harms those we care about most. In those situations, where an elderly person’s injuries are the direct result of substandard care from a long-term facility, a personal injury lawyer can help get compensation for the mistreatment, abuse, and injuries.

Premises Liability

When you enter a building, it is reasonable to expect that the building will be free of obstacles, objects, or situations that can cause you harm. While a person usually knows and foresees the consequences of their actions, there are situations where a reasonable person might not be able to know that their actions will have unintended consequences. Dark tiles might hide the fact that water or a drink was spilled, making the floor slippery. If a person is not adequately informed of a situation and is injured through no fault of their own, they may be entitled to compensation. An excellent personal injury lawyer can establish that their client was acting reasonably and was not informed of the dangerous situation. Once it has been shown that the client was not responsible, the insurance company which insures the property or the property owners may be forced to compensate the victim for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Dog Attacks

Pet ownership forms an integral part of the lives of many Americans. However, many people choose to keep certain breeds of dogs which pose a known risk to other individuals. If a dangerous dog gets free from its leash or escapes its yard, it can cause serious injuries to innocent bystanders. In addition to trauma from the bite itself, which can cause lacerations, infections, scars, broken bones, and permanent nerve damage, a dog attack can also result in falls, head injuries, and other broken bones. In many cases, home insurance companies will try to avoid paying for injuries caused by dangerous dogs, which is why an experienced dog bite attorney is vital to getting a good outcome.

Need Help with Personal Injury Law?

These are not the only types of personal injury cases an excellent personal injury lawyer can help with, but these five are some of the most common. In seeking a personal injury attorney, plaintiffs should look at cost, experience, and skill. Personal injury attorneys typically take cases on contingency, meaning that clients are not charged for consultations and the attorney is not paid unless the case is won. Have you been injured? Get a FREE consultation.

Author Bio

Louis W. Grande is a Providence personal injury lawyer who founded his Rhode Island law firm of the same name in 2010. With more than 32 years of experience practicing law, he has successfully represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, premise liability, dog bites, medical malpractice, product liability, and other personal injury actions.

Louis received his Juris Doctor from the Hamline University School of Law and is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded Lifetime Achievement in 2017 by America’s Top 100 Attorneys and being named among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers in 2017.

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