What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Negligence Cases?

If you’re looking to file legal action for either personal injury or a negligence case, you should know the basics of these terms. While many personal injury cases are dependent upon negligence, there are other potential causes in these cases.

The definition of personal injury isn’t even confined to physical harm: in some cases, harm to the mind or emotional wellbeing of a person can be seen as personal injury.

Similarly, negligence cases are not limited to the area of personal injury. Negligence can be a factor in areas such as wrongful death cases just as much as it can in injury cases.

In either case, being aware of the law lets you know when you need to take action. And with personal injury cases offering plaintiffs an average of $24,000 in payouts, there are huge benefits to knowing.

Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury refers to a case in which a plaintiff suffered personal harm. While this definition can seem relatively basic, there are a few areas in which it can be more complex.

At its most basic level, any case that is based on property damage cannot be considered personal injury. These cases are considered property law.

A large number of personal injury cases are also negligence cases. This makes sense when one considers the fact that most people are not out to cause harm to others. People make mistakes, and these mistakes can have broad and unfortunate consequences.

Intentional Tort

When these mistakes arise, legal action is necessary. But it is worth noting that negligence is not the cause of every personal injury case. There are cases in which outright malicious intent or other breaches of contract can be considered the main cause of personal injury.

For example, let’s say a man is injured in a car accident. Oftentimes, this can be the result of a DWI or a distracted driver. But sometimes, the cause of these accidents can be road rage. In this case, the intent is a malicious intentional act.

While a malicious intent is not necessary in a personal injury case, the consequences of an intentional tort can be severe. In these cases, the plaintiff will be able to pursue criminal charges against the person. In general, these are the cases that are more likely to earn the defendant jail time. Also, if intentional, there’s usually no insurance available from the other person.

An intentional tort can also make it easier for you to earn punitive damages. While all personal injury cases are based on a payout to the harmed party, punitive damages can only occur in cases of malicious intent. In these cases, you are owed additional money that can basically be considered a means of teaching a lesson to the party that caused you harm.

Things To Consider In A Personal Injury Case

Whether the personal injury suits filed are negligence cases or not, calculating potential earnings is dependent upon the financial harm the incident has caused. While this can be complicated to calculate, it is important that plaintiffs consider all harmful actions before proceeding with a case. This way, the harmed person can be sure that they are compensated to the degree that they need to be.

The most obvious thing to consider in a personal injury case is medical bills. This includes the cost of an ambulance, the amount of money taken off of your insurance deductible, the cost of immediate treatment, and the continued cost of medication.

If your case has caused short-or-long term physical disability, you can also sue for the amount of money spent on home remodeling. For example, if you were put in a wheelchair by leg injuries from a dog bite, it is likely that you would need to install a ramp or other mobility device in your home. In this case, you may need to pay between $3,500 and $8,000. Don’t forget about this expense when filing your personal injury case.

The next thing to consider, in both personal injury and negligence cases, is the potential loss of income from the event. If you were left temporarily unable to do your job, you should calculate the amount of money lost each week due to this setback. If your injuries were on such a scale that you lost your job, then you should consider the amount of time spent unemployed in your lawsuit.

There is still more to consider when calculating damages in a personal injury case. Because psychological damages can also be considered personal injury, consider any therapy bills accrued after the incident when talking to your attorney. If the incident has caused depression and anxiety that has made it difficult for you to earn money or reduce costs in your day-to-day life, you may also be able to make this a factor in your case.

When calculating damages in personal injury and negligence cases, be sure to consult a lawyer to make sure you have a legitimate case for these earnings.

Negligence Cases

Negligence is a factor in many personal injury cases. But not all negligence cases are created equal. As the injured party, you should be aware of the many different types of negligence cases to avoid failing to consider whether or not the defendant was negligent, and how criminal their negligence was.

This concern can result in a major change to the amount of money earned in a case. Here are a few examples of what to consider in these lawsuits.

Simple Negligence

Simple negligence cases are some of the most common negligence cases out there. In a simple negligence case, the party acted without adequate precautions. However, their lack of precautions could not be considered so out of the ordinary as to be particularly gross or dangerous.

Usually, simple negligence cases require the offending party to have made a mistake that is made somewhat regularly in their particular field. For example, a surgical instrument being left inside the body of a patient can potentially be considered simple negligence.

It’s important to note that, while negligence in its various forms is usually the thing being sued over, it is not a case in and of itself. Usually, there is a personal injury, breach of contract, wrongful death, or medical malpractice case involved.

If the cause of your case is simple negligence, you can usually only take action for the damages caused. However, legal action should absolutely be taken in all cases involving negligence. If you fail to act, you may be unable to properly recover from damages or prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

Breach Of Contract

A large number of negligence cases can be considered on the grounds of breach of contract. These can be particularly common in cases where a document was signed prior to an injury, or when a person was injured at work.

One example of a case where a breach of contract can also be considered negligence to the point of causing personal injury would be a case involving an exercise injury. If a person hired a personal trainer and had a contract which specified that all training activity must be physically safe, injuries attained while working out with the trainer could be considered a negligent breach of contract.

Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, these cases are far too common in the world we live in. We would hope that doctors would be trained to maintain a mindful approach toward work which carries the lives of others on the line. But that is not the case.

In many medical malpractice cases, there is simply no way to financially measure the pain and suffering caused by the guilty party. If a person loses a family member, or their ability to function, there is no amount of money that can restore their life to what it was before.

But this does not mean that you should fail to take legal action. When there has been a serious case of medical malpractice, it is worth it to act for the simple reason of making sure that this does not happen again.

There are many doctors who should not be working today. Some are followed everywhere by a trail of malpractice claims. In these cases, your silence can put a lot of people in harm’s way.

It is also important, because of how common this is, that you are aware of the history of any doctor you hire. Research the court records of your doctor to find out if it is really safe to put your life and body in the hands of this individual.

Medical malpractice cases are some of the most common forms of negligence cases. Having a strong awareness of them can allow you to make yourself, and a lot of people safer.

Gross Negligence

Unlike other cases, gross negligence can be remarkably similar to cases of intentional tort. Gross negligence is defined as a form of negligence that shows a total lack of concern for injuries caused by actions taken or conditions created.

It can be difficult to tell what constitutes reckless negligence, as opposed to simple negligence. In these cases, it is clear that the people who did wrong must have acted in a way that could be considered extreme. An ordinary lack of precaution would not be considered gross negligence, though it can be difficult to define where the line should be drawn.

One of the most famous examples of gross negligence in the past ten years was the legal case against Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor of pop singer Michael Jackson. Dr. Murray gave Michael Jackson an anesthetic known as propofol as a sleep aid.

Propofol is a drug used exclusively by anesthesiologists. It is not something that should be used as a sleep aid: because of the power of the drug, this is an incredibly dangerous action. On top of that, it has been known to cause allergic reactions.

All of this is compounded by the fact that Jackson was on a number of other drugs. It is not clear that Murray had a detailed understanding of what drugs the belated king of pop was or was not taking. It is absurd that any doctor would be unaware of this information.

Even more absurd is the fact that this was compounded by the prescription of a drug that never should have been prescribed to Michael Jackson.

Ultimately, the jury agreed. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison. However, he was released after two years.

What makes the negligence in this case “gross” is the numerous examples of recklessness that stack on top of each other. The most basic is Murray’s total lack of concern for what he had already prescribed. In some cases, this could be considered ordinary negligence.

But there is more to consider. Dr. Murray gave Michael Jackson a powerful anesthetic and told him to use it as a sleep aid. This is not normal conduct, nor is it a mistake that could be made by any doctor. It was textbook gross negligence.

Hire A Lawyer

When personal injury or negligence cases happen, lawyers need to step in. If you want to hire the best lawyers, we can help.

We offer aid to victims of legal wrongdoing in a variety of areas. We offer a 100% client satisfaction guarantee. That’s because we know what you deserve, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it to you.

If you’ve been injured, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.

Your case — and your future will be our top priority.  When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.

If you have any questions about this article or want to contact us, call Stephen at (225) 500-5000 or do so here.

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