Interesting Facts about Personal Injury Law

by David Marocchi on August 28, 2012

Personal injury law encompasses a person’s right to file a lawsuit against another party for causing them personal injury. The injury can be an emotional or physical one. While personal injury legal action comprises a significant percentage of civil litigation at the state level, many cases never make it to trial and settle out of court.

Assigning Blame to Determine Lawsuit Prospects

There are certain legal requirements to prove personal injury and assign blame. State law differs around the U.S., but the first assumption that any defendant will try and claim is that the plaintiff is partly to blame for the injury. How much the plaintiff is to blame impacts the amount of damages awarded, or even if the plaintiff has a case worth pleading.

States follow either a comparative negligence rule or a contributing negligence law. The main difference in these two laws relates to whether the plaintiff shares in the blame at all for the injury. States with contributory negligence laws prohibit plaintiffs from receiving compensation for an injury if the plaintiff shares any degree of blame for the occurrence of the accident. In contrast, comparative negligence states use a formula to determine how to award damages relative to the percentage of fault assigned to both parties. Comparative negligence law allows for a plaintiff to be compensated for damages based on percentages assigned to opposing parties, unless it is decided that the plaintiff is 100% responsible for the injury.

Assumption of Risk as a Defense Against Legal Action

Another argument often made by the defense in a tort case includes the claim that the injured party assumed the risk by participating in the specific activity. A key component of this argument relates to what the inherent risk is of getting involved in the activity that caused the injury. For example, if a child playing basketball gets elbowed and breaks his nose, this type of injury will probably be considered a normal injury for the sport. On the other hand, if a child signs up for swim team and the coach allows the children to stay in the water during a thunderstorm and a child is struck by lightning, then a case could be made that the coach was negligent.

Interesting Personal Injury Statistics

Medical malpractice is big business and often in the news. Comparatively speaking, there aren’t that many medical lawsuits that are won considering the large number of suits filed. Only 19% of medical malpractice cases are won on average, as compared with 61% of plaintiffs who file in automobile accidents. The average size of the damages awarded in medical malpractice suits does; however, far exceed the amount of money awarded in the average car accident case. According to an article published in The Legal Finance Journal on August 11, 2011, the average medical malpractice award is $679,000, with the average award in auto accidents coming in at $16,000. Product liability damage awards are even higher than medical malpractice awards, averaging $748,00 per case. Going down the list of most common personal injury law claims the numbers get bigger and bigger.

Summary

Personal injury law is a vital part of the legal system. Many people hurt in accidents need the help of experienced attorneys to pay for medical bills and to eliminate what could be a financial disaster. Using an attorney who specializes in tort law is highly recommended for best results.

Author Bio: David Marocchi is a a Sydney based compensation lawyer specialising in personal injury law working as a partner at Paramount Lawyers in Sydney.

David Marocchi

David Marocchi

David Marocchi is a a Sydney based compensation lawyer specialising in personal injury law working as a partner at Paramount Lawyers in Sydney.
David Marocchi

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  • lauralouise90

    Great fact list – most people don’t understand just how difficult being a personal injury lawyer is and the sheer amount of work involved.

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