What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury law is based on the concept that when a person is negligent and causes injury to another, that person should pay compensation for the injuries he or she has caused. This concept has been a part of the American legal system since the founding of the country, and it is enshrined in the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution which preserves the right to a trial by jury in almost all civil matters.
Although most personal injury cases are formed on the basis of negligence, other cases are formed on the basis of strict liability or intentional wrongs, according to the American Bar Association. Cases involving strict liability occur when victims hold the manufacturers or designers of a defective product accountable for their injuries. What is unique about these cases is that claimants do not have to establish that the manufacturer or designer was negligent. Instead, they simply need to show that a product was dangerous to use because it was designed or manufactured that way.
Intentional wrongs can also be the basis of personal injury cases, although these cases are much rarer than cases involving negligence or strict liability. In cases like these, one party intentionally ends up causing harm to another. For example, if a driver decides to hit another driver as a practical joke, a personal injury case could be formed on the basis of intentional wrongdoing.
When assessing injuries from an accident, it is not just physical injuries that occur. Emotional trauma is may also be compensated for, although it is a harder to estimate. Proving emotional pain can be more difficult as there aren’t always scars to show or marks to photograph. Keeping a journal is a good way to chronical the distress as it shows a persistent problem. It is also important to relate mental anguish to specific elements of the incident that caused the personal injury.
An example of psychological injury that may not manifest into a physical pain is the fear or inability to continue to drive a car after a road traffic accident. The memory of the accident could be enough to make it difficult to drive from place to place, resulting in lost time and money from having to use other means of transportation. Emotional distress can lead to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. In such cases, victims may need psychological counseling and treatment in order to overcome the effects of a traumatic event.
Personal Injury Compensation
When victims file a personal injury case, they may be eligible to receive many different forms of compensation once a verdict is reached. For example, victims may be awarded compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and lost earning capacity. In cases involving wrongful death, the family members of the deceased person can receive compensation for burial expenses, medical bills, loss of companionship and lost earnings their loved one would have acquired if he or she had survived.
According to Cornell University Law School, wrongful death cases develop when a negligent action causes someone else’s death. However, these cases can generally only be filed by the deceased person’s close relatives. For instance, the spouse, child, parent or grandparent of a victim killed in an accident may be eligible to file a wrongful death case on behalf of his or her loved one.
A New Jersey personal injury lawsuit is an option for victims who have suffered personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another party.
How a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or ability to work
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish resulting from an injury
If a victim dies as a result of a personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another, his or her family members may be able to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one. Wrongful death damages can include:
- Mental anguish, and pain and suffering from the loss of a loved one
- Loss of relationship or a loved one’s financial support
- Funeral expenses
- Conscious pain and suffering or a loved one prior to death
People who have been injured due to another’s negligence are advised to seek the advice of a New Jersey personal injury attorney to help them protect their legal rights.