Personal Injury Litigation
Fortunately, personal injury litigation is not necessarily counterintuitive to Biblical principles, but still it should be the last course of action a Christian pursues. Christians must examine motives and trust their heart. If an aggrieved person is going to court for no other reason than to gain revenge or wealth, than that may be counter to Biblical principles. However, if after examining all aspects of a case, a person feels justified and is convinced that they are acting appropriately in pursuing legal action, he or she should act with compassion. Litigation is difficult for all involved, regardless of fault. The other side may be suffering from the experience as well. The Bible says not to rob the poor nor oppress the afflicted. Poor in this context does not necessarily refer to lack of money. And both sides may be afflicted. If an opportunity arises to settle out-of-court, the offer should be discussed thoroughly with an attorney. "Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbor hath put thee to shame. Debate they cause with thy neighbor himself; and discover not a secret to another." (Proverbs 25: 8-9)
Basically, there are two categories of injury claims: negligent acts and tort. Tort is defined as the wrongful act, injury, or damage, for which a civil action can be brought by one person against another to gain compensation through the courts. On the other hand, negligence can be claimed when the person who caused the damage did not intend for the action to result in the injury. He or she is deemed to have been careless with the safety of other people. For the most part, in order to win a negligence case, an injured person must show that the person who is being charged with causing the damage did not exercise reasonable care, and that his or her negligent actions resulted in the injuries. Personal injury litigation is an incredibly complex process, and this article cannot possibly cover all nuances of the legal system. Please, consult an expert with legal questions. According to an attorney who specializes in personal injury litigation, some common negligence actions include automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice actions. These types of negligent actions may be considered careless or reckless, but they are not necessarily criminal in nature. If a driver runs their car over another person's foot and causes injuries, the driver of the car may have been acting negligently but not with criminal intent.
That's one oversimplified example, and in actuality, any action by one or more persons or even a business deemed to be negligent by an injured party can be brought into court. Obviously, some cases are appropriate for personal injury litigation and do belong in court, maybe not for financial compensation, but to possibly prevent future injuries to other people. But, some rather infamous cases involving what many consider to be insane charges and even more ridiculous damage awards have been publicized in recent years. As a result, warnings that often cause a rational person to scratch their head and laugh have appeared everywhere. For example, coffee cups warn a person that the contents about to be enjoyed may be extremely hot. Coffee is suppose to be hot. Don't spill it. Cardboard automobile sunshades have printed warnings to the driver saying that the device must be removed from the windshield before driving. Who would drive down the road while their entire windshield is covered by a piece of cardboard? It had to have happened at least once because almost every consumer warning has a story that probably evolved through personal injury litigation.
Torts occur when a person intends to commit a wrongful act. Assault, abuse, and defamation are some common torts. According to legal experts, torts are very difficult to collect monetary compensation on because most insurance policies don't cover intentional acts. However, criminal actions can result in stiff penalties, including prison time. Negligence is multifaceted with many legal terms that should be learned by anyone seeking damages through personal injury litigation. Keep in mind, negligence laws vary significantly from state to state and even within regions with multiple legal jurisdictions. Consult with an attorney about local negligence laws and any term explained in this article. Most are very complex with many variations and interpretations. First, proximate cause exists when a person is injured as the result of negligent conduct and the injury was a natural and probable result of the conduct. Within personal injury litigation, the law also distinguishes between negligence and gross negligence. Gross negligence is defined as conduct, or a failure to act, so reckless that an injury will result. Regardless of whether an action is considered ordinary or gross negligence, children and minors are typically held to a different negligent standard than are adults. Factors such as age and mental capacity are consider in any personal injury case that involves a minor.
Sometimes what is known as contributory negligence principles are used to help determine liability in a personal injury litigation case. Basically, under this principle, if a person in any way contributed to his or her own injury, he or she is barred from recovering damages. However, according to one legal website, because of the extreme nature of contributory negligence, its use has been limited or banned in some areas. Occasionally, if a person is found to have contributed to his or her own injury, they may still be able to collect compensatory damages. Mixed comparative and contributory negligence permits a person who is less than fifty percent at fault to recover reduced damages. Finally, there is vicarious liability, which occurs when one person is held responsible for the negligence of another. Generally, this occurs in two situations. First, an employer may be considered responsible for the negligent acts of the employee. And, parents may be held vicariously liable for the acts of their children.
Personal Injury LiabilityPersonal injury liability insurance coverage is a must for almost any business or individual to provide financial resources in the event of someone being hurt on premises. In today's litigious society, such personal injury liability insurance is a must for any owning a car, property, dog or business. In other words, the average person has a large exposure to the possibility of a personal injury liability lawsuit. Think not? Consider the scenario in which a person has a communicable disease. There then becomes the risk of liability, particularly if it can be proven that the carrier knew he had the disease and still invited someone to his home or perhaps went to work. And there is the wintry slip and fall in front of the house by the crotchety neighbor who is just looking for the chance to sue your socks off.
Automobile insurance usually has, in most states, a required minimum coverage in cases of bodily injury to other passengers in one's car. The minimum coverage for personal injury liability for auto insurance is very, very small, sometimes as little as ten or twenty thousand dollars per person. Not exactly comforting when lawsuits are routinely over a million dollars. And because the chances are quite substantial that sometime in fifty years of driving a person is going to be in an auto accident of some sort this becomes an even more pressing concern. But the need for insurance coverage for personal legal responsibility doesn't stop there.
If the neighbor or mailman or door to door salesperson is bitten by one's dog, just go ahead and call an attorney and make the appointment. The lawsuit is just a few days from being filed. Many people own a house but often don't have a homeowner's insurance clause with their policy. And if they do have the coverage, it is often not enough to answer the routine damage claim demands often placed on policies. And when homeowners have certain breeds of dogs, own swimming pools and other glowingly litigious targets, more and special coverage may be required. A person ought to seek out the advice of a personal injury liability attorney, especially if you have pit bulls guarding that swimming pool.
Personal injury is not like a two sided coin with just a couple issues in its structure. There are also the issues of false arrest, wrongful detention, false imprisonment and malicious persecution. In this sense, someone who believes they have been the object of such treatment would seek damages under a personal injury liability law suit. Law enforcement officers, security guards, parole officers and other similar occupations face liability issues on a regular basis and require protection from lawsuits. Often the coverage is included with a policy from the governmental entity or employer that hires them, but no employees should take anything for granted and should review the policy with an attorney.
There is another side to this whole personal injury liability issue and that is the exposure that journalists and writers have to the publications of slander, defamatory remarks, disparaging material, or the revealing of matters that violate right of privacy. As with law enforcement officials, those with high exposure to the possibility of these violations should possess and maintain a liability policy in order to mitigate financial loss because of a lawsuit. Many people do not know that Christians are prohibited in scripture from suing one another. Issues of litigation are supposed to be handled strictly among believers. "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go before the unjust and not before the saints?...If then ye have judgments pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are at least esteemed in the church." (I Corinthians 6:1, 4)
Within this concept of liability lies the concept called strict liability. This is when certain activities will always be held liable, not matter how good the defense may be. For example, certain types of toy manufacturing, animal handling, and building demolition will be subject to strict liability prosecution. Perhaps strict liability ought to be called slam dunk liability! But all personal injury liability lawsuits come under the main heading of tort law, unless there was criminal intent to harm someone. Negligence is the cornerstone of civil tort law, and there must be some proof that there was indeed the overlooking of obvious or sometime even unforeseen injurious possibilities.
Whether a person has been injured by negligent acts or is being used because of supposed negligence, the choice of an attorney will be crucial. Just as physicians usually specialize today in a certain area of medicine in order to improve service to the patient, the practice of law has also become highly specialized and in this case, a personal injury attorney is called for. So when a person is seeking an attorney there are some key elements to be considered such as the experience the barrister has had with the very specific kind of case under discussion. Discussing fees and extra expenses and knowing if the attorney compensation will be decided on the actual judgment awarded or a flat fee as well as finding out all the people who will be working on the matter should be asked and answered. Finding out the lawyer's approach on the matter is also important such as whether or not the goal is a compromise or a fully fledged complete legal victory. Make no assumptions, and go to different websites before meeting or talking to any attorney looking for every possible question a person might have so that there are no surprises later on.