“Personal injury law” is a pretty vague phrase when it comes to the American legal system, and the fact that news articles so often talk about “personal injury compensation” for so many different legal cases doesn’t really help to clarify how this type of law protects people. This type of law is considered civil law, and not criminal law, meaning that no one is in danger of being sent to prison — and no one is trying to send the guilty party to prison, for that matter. Personal injury law is a way of ensuring that people take responsibility for their actions, and that if they made poor decisions that hurt other people, those people will be compensated.
The most common types of personal injury cases involve serious car accident injuries and medical malpractice cases. When it comes to car accidents, you aren’t entitled to receive compensation for a car accident injury that occurred because of your own poor decisions, but you could be entitled to compensation when the accident is the fault of someone else. And for medical malpractice situations, compensation is often sought when a doctor or medical group exercises extreme negligence, consequently putting a patient through a great deal of pain and stress.
Despite the fact that thousands of personal injury lawsuits are filed every year in the U.S., only an estimated 4% of those cases actually see a courtroom trial, because the other 96% of cases are negotiated outside of the courtroom and without a judge or jury. In these cases, the personal injury attorneys of both parties will assess the situation in dispute, and they’ll come to an agreement about how much compensation should be paid to the victim. This may sound like a simple enough process, but both parties involved in this type of lawsuit usually turn to personal injury attorneys to represent them in official meetings, as well as to handle all the paperwork, legal documents, and official requests involved in a civil lawsuit.
Many of these cases are mere accidents — but that doesn’t exempt the guilty party from taking responsibility when necessary. More than anything, this type of law is meant to protect us when a serious accident or injury does occur, and it’s meant to ensure that victims are reasonably compensated. See this link for more references.