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Types of Personal Injury – Legal Definitions

The practice of personal injury law (also known as “tort law”) covers a wide range of topics, from car accidents to dog bites to defamation.  The list below will help clarify these topics.

Vehicle Accidents

In the United States, the majority of personal injury cases are related to car accidents. When an accident occurs, it is usually as a result of one driver not following the rules of the road or not being as careful as he or she could or should be. That person can be held financially liable for damages as a result of a vehicle accident.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Property owners are expected to keep their property reasonably safe and free of hazards and debris that could cause injury. If a person is injured as a result of debris not being properly disposed of or a hazard not properly cautioned against or corded off, the property owner may be liable for damages. Each slip and fall case is different due to the circumstances of the injury, so it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.

Medical Malpractice

Malpractice is defines as treatment that does not meet the standards for care that results in an injury. A doctor can be held legally liable for malpractice, but it is important to remember that a negative outcome is not necessarily malpractice. A personal injury attorney would be able to assist you with ensuring your case is valid for a malpractice claim.

Defamation – Libel and Slander

Defamation is damage to a person’s personal character. In order to have a case for defamation, you will need to prove actual personal loss (financial loss) as a result of the defamation, and the forum used can have an influence on the case as well.

Dog Bites

In most cases the owner of a dog is liable for the costs of any injury if his or her dog bites another person. The specific laws governing liability vary from state to state however in regards to what an owner is responsible for. Specifically, strict dog bite laws hold the owner liable for any aggressive behavior, while “one bite” laws look more towards whether the dog in question has an aggressive history.

Assault and Battery

Finally, any party inflicting intentional harm can be held financially liable for any injury they inflict upon another. These cases will also have a criminal case as assault and battery are criminal infractions, and the victim can then file suit in civil court for any damages as a result of the attack.
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