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Personal Injury

Personal injury law is often referred to as tort law, and cases are handled in civil, rather than criminal, court. A person may face both civil and criminal charges for the same action, but the key differences include a lesser burden of proof in civil cases and the fact that civil penalties usually take the form of money damages paid to the injured party.

There are many different types of personal injury cases. Just a few examples include medical malpractice claims, car accident claims, defamation or libel claims, intentional tort claims, dog bite claims, slip and fall or premises liability claims and toxic tort cases. All of these different cases seem as if they have little in common, but they do: The common thread is that there was a legal duty breached and that the breach caused harm.

A plaintiff who is successful at making a personal injury claim may be entitled to past and future medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and emotional distress compensation. Many personal injury claims settle out of court, with the plaintiff receiving a set amount to compensate for all of those things. When an out of court settlement does not occur, the personal injury case may make it to a judge or jury who will decide first on fault and then on damages.