Personal injury laws govern a wide range of instances where an individual has been injured, killed, or harmed by the direct/indirect action(s) of one or more responsible parties. The party/parties will still be held responsible if the personal injury, harm or death was a result of their inaction, meaning that the incident was a direct or indirect result of their failure to act in a way that they were bound to, under legal mandates.
Tort laws (the legal term for personal injury laws) also protect citizens against damages caused to their property and finances, if it happens as a direct or indirect result of the violation. Due to the vast nature and scope of tort laws, they have been divided into three broad categories based on primary reasoning. Let us quickly go through them for a better understanding:
Medical malpractice is defined as any instance of personal injury or harm caused by professional negligence. The guilty party could be one or more health care workers, but the entire management in charge should be held liable for maximum effect. For example, if someone is/was a victim of neglect and/or abuse in a nursing home or any other assisted living facility, the ones closest to the person should consider filing for medical malpractice. Consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in nursing home neglect and abuse to determine which party to sue and how to proceed with the case. Other common areas which medical malpractice laws cover are:
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Prescribing or administering wrong meds
- Overdosing/underdosing of anesthesia by an anesthetist
- Wrong lab results
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), negligence is the primary basis for almost all types of personal injury lawsuits. For example, nursing home neglect and abuse cases can be deemed just as much a part of negligence as a road accident. However, automobile accidents are primarily what negligence laws deal with, although not exclusively so. In addition to personal injuries caused by car accidents, tort laws from the negligence section also regulate truck accidents, railroad accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall cases, construction accidents, factory accidents and other workplace accidents which can be attributed to negligence.
If a defective, malfunctioning product ends up harming someone and/or their property, the consumer is protected by personal injury laws that govern product liability. Negligence takes a backseat here as it is not a necessary contingent to win product liability lawsuits. Barring exceptions, there are only a few requirements here:
- The product in question must be proven to have caused damage, and/or been the cause of someone’s injury/harm/death.
- The effects stated above must be proven as being a result of the product’s designing mistake, manufacturing defect, labelling error, and/or informational inadequacy.
Examples of huge product liability lawsuits, some of which even took on the form of mass torts later would be the Martinez vs Johnson & Johnson Case ($4.69 billion), the Anderson Vs GM Case ($4.9 billion), and the Andrews vs DePuy Orthopedics Inc. Case ($1 billion). Such examples serve to remind us that, although we may at times face unprecedented grief on account of someone else’s fault, the situation can be improved by appealing to the laws of the US Legal Justice System in time.