Wait a Second: What is Personal Injury?

Personal injuries. We see and hear about them all the time on the TV, radio, and while we are browsing the web. When I hear the word “personal,” I think that it may have something to do with the individual. When I hear “injury,” I think that the term involves physical harm.

But what help was that? Everyone knows that a personal injury case involves some type of individualized harm. We hear about car accidents and slip and fall injuries that fall under the umbrella of “personal injuries.” At this point, I couldn’t help myself. I had to do a little research to uncover the true meaning of “personal injury.”

I came across a comprehensive article authored by Evans Moore, LLC. The article explained that four key things are part of every personal injury case:

  1. A negligent party has some duty.
  2. The negligent party breaches that duty.
  3. The negligent party causes harm.
  4. The harmed individual suffers damages.

These four components seemed somewhat daunting at first to understand. They looked a bit complex, so to further understand them, I applied them to the personal injury cases I was very familiar with, car accidents.

In my application to the car accident case, I broke down the same four components as follows:

  1. A driver has a duty to drive correctly on the road.
  2. The driver failed to drive correctly on the road (e.g., no turn signal, sudden lane change, etc.)
  3. The driver crashed into another vehicle.
  4. The driver in the other vehicle was harmed in the accident.

With this application, I felt that I had a better grasp on the concept of “personal injury.” However, I still was not entirely satisfied.

To further my knowledge and understanding, I referred to the same article to see what other types of personal injury cases existed. I wanted to see what constituted a personal injury case beyond the ordinary automobile accident or slip and fall incident. I was astounded by the information contained in the article! The article provided a long list of personal injury cases. Among the list were the following: wrongful death, worker’s compensation, product liability, premise liability, sexual misconduct, nursing home injury, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, hospital misconduct, civil rights, and shop liability.

I could not believe how many personal injury cases I had failed to recognize initially! Of course, these listed personal injury cases fit neatly into the four essential components that the article had also provided. At the end of the day, after all of my research, I learned that the common term “personal injury” is an inclusive term that covers more than one might think. We have all heard of a personal injury case but sometimes it takes a little bit of reflection to understand what the term encompasses. I’m happy to say I now have a thorough understanding of the various types of personal injury cases!

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