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What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

04th May 2010
By Penelope Stone in Personal Injury
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Personal injury law is a broad set of legal practice areas covering any case that involves the following:
• An act of negligence (that is, an action or failure to act that deviates from what a "reasonable" person would do under similar circumstances)
• An injury to another person as a direct result of this negligence
• Losses and expenses suffered by the injured person or, in the case of death, the injured person's family as a direct result of this injury

Any lawsuit that seeks damages--monetary compensation--based on the establishment of these elements is considered a personal injury lawsuit.

The act of negligence that serves as the basis of a personal injury lawsuit usually causes an accident. When an accident interferes with the commission of a professional obligation, such as that owed by a doctor to a patient, the negligence is classified as malpractice. Common professional malpractices cases include medical malpractice, hospital negligence, and attorney malpractice.

Most personal injury cases involve one person being harmed by the negligent actions of another person, such as car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases. When a person is injured due to the unreasonably and unforeseeably unsafe conditions on another person's property, whether that property is private or commercial, a premises liability claim may be filed.

Product liability claims are unique among personal injury lawsuits in that they usually involve the legal doctrine of strict liability. This means that the injured plaintiff is not obligated to prove that a specific act of negligence took place on the part of the designer, manufacturer, or seller of the product. Rather, the mere presence of the flaw in a defective product is considered evidence enough of negligence.

Wrongful death claims also fall under the umbrella of personal injury lawsuits. As with any other personal injury lawsuit, wrongful death claims seek only monetary damages from the defendant. Criminal and civil cases are kept separate under the law and never intertwine.

Find a Kansas City personal injury lawyer, auto accident, or premises liability professional.
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