Personal injury law forms a part of the sector of the American legal system devoted to tort law, under which citizens can file lawsuits against each other for the remedying of misdeeds and the recovering of damages. This legal instrument addresses a wider category of harm than is described by the common definition of injury as physical harm, and does not require that the claimant show that he or she suffered any actual wounds.
Psychological harm is also covered under personal injury law, which is designed and implemented throughout the country to ease the financial burden of medical care and lost hours of work, as well as the general satisfaction of some kind of restitution. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact injury lawyers.
For the purposes of civil injury law, the definition given of injuries is not geared toward the stringency required for criminal prosecution, under which direct culpability for an injury would have to be established to a degree sufficient for imposing jail terms and other significant infringements of liberty.
Most commonly, injuries which are tried in court through a tort involve the negligence of the defendant, who is claimed to be responsible for the specific action or the general conditions which led to the claimant being injured. The person who has suffered the injury and his or her legal representative must show that the individual or entity being sued had an obligation to provide for the safety and well-being of others which was not honored and which therefore led to the injury being addressed in the case.
Injury law may define emotional and psychological distress as a form of injury for which legal redress can be sought if, for one thing, an occurrence of physical distress was associated with the mental harm, albeit not experienced directly by the claimant. For instance, a person who closely escaped from suffering physical trauma might be able to claim that any subsequent emotional trauma stemmed from the same source and could therefore be attributed to the individual responsible for the physical danger.
Similarly, the witness of physical trauma being suffered could claim to have suffered from mental harm under personal injury law. Emotional and physical injury may also be found to be present and accordingly used as the basis for a lawsuit in the same case, if the latter can be shown to have caused the former.
In addition to including mental as well as physical suffering, the definition given by personal injury law of its area of interest also may exclude certain forms of physical injury. For instance, a relatively minor form of injury which did not impose any financial requirements on the affected individual, either in the form of missed employment or medical bills, may be excluded from the particular understanding of injury held under personal injury law.
Personal injury law may be applied to either the actual person claimed to be responsible for the injury or to the defendant's insurance carrier, who will then be required to pay for the medical bills of the personal injury claimant.