What Is Defined as Personal Injury?
Personal injury sounds self-explanatory, but it encompasses a wide range of injuries for which legal options may exist. Depending on the cause and severity of the injury, there can be potential for lawsuits and compensation to the injured person.
Types of Personal Injuries
Many people think personal injuries are physical in nature, such as a broken leg. But personal injury law defines personal injury as a much broader category. Legally, personal injury encompasses physical harm, emotional harm, or damage to a person’s reputation.
This is perhaps the most straightforward category to understand. Someone (or some entity or organization) causes another person to be physically injured. Those injuries can range from minor (sprained ankle) to severe (paralysis, brain damage).
There are three categories of physical harm:
- Negligence. This means the injury occurred because proper care wasn’t taken to prevent it, but it likely wasn’t deliberate. That could include someone falling on an icy sidewalk where a homeowner hadn’t tried to remove the ice or salt it to make it safer or someone who is careless when handling a gun.
- Liability. This includes things like defective products that cause injuries. It doesn’t matter if the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the product was aware of the defect or not. Once the defect becomes known, they can still be held liable.
- Intentional injury. This category includes deliberate harm, such as battery and assault or false imprisonment.
Emotional harm comes into play when someone causes someone else debilitating emotional stress. That can go hand-in-hand with physical injuries, such as false imprisonment, or it can arise from emotional and verbal abuse or invasion of privacy.
Damaged reputations that arise from things like defamation are considered personal injury. Examples include someone making false claims about someone else on social media that cause that person to lose standing in the community.
Let Me Advise You
If you or someone you know needs help exploring legal options for any type of personal injury, call me at 610-718-6368.