What Is Considered Personal Injury?
Published on:August 10, 2017

The laws and guidelines that make up personal injury law in the United States can vary from state to state. But when it comes to a general discussion of personal injury law, there are a few elements that apply to every case in every state. Before you decide to visit an attorney to discuss your case, you should first gain a basic understanding of what it means to file a personal injury case.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

A personal injury lawsuit attempts to recover compensation for a victim who was injured or otherwise damaged due to the negligence of another party or parties. With a personal injury lawsuit, a victim can look to recover medical expenses, personal property damage costs, and money associated with pain and suffering. The idea of pain and suffering can vary from state to state, but oftentimes it is extremely difficult to recover pain and suffering funds from a personal injury lawsuit.

What Kind Of Action Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The civil court system was set up exclusively to handle personal injury lawsuits. The realm of personal injury lawsuits includes actions involving:

  • Wrongful death
  • Medical malpractice
  • Assault and battery
  • Slander
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • And a variety of other incidents that involve physical, emotional, or other types of injury to a victim

What If My Case Was Tried In Criminal Courts?

The criminal courts and civil courts run completely independent of each other. While getting a criminal conviction against someone who injures another party punishes the negligent person, it does not offer any personal satisfaction to the parties who were injured. A personal injury lawsuit allows victims to punish negligent parties directly and receive financial compensation for the injuries they endured.

A case that has been tried in criminal court, successfully or not, can be tried in civil court as well. The outcome of a criminal action against a defendant has no bearing on any civil action that may be brought against that defendant for the same crime.


Most personal injury cases attempt to establish degrees of negligence in regards to the actions of a defendant. It is entirely possible that a civil court jury would find the plaintiff negligent in a personal injury case, which would mean that the case would be thrown out of court. Some defendants file counter-claims insisting the plaintiff is negligent. If the counter-claim is accepted by the court, the plaintiff could wind up with a judgment against them in their own civil court case.

In a defective product case, it is important for the courts to establish which parties are negligent and to what degrees. For now, a retailer who sells a defective product can be named in a civil lawsuit if that product is show to be dangerously defective. Establishing negligence is an important part of the personal injury law process.

If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you could have a personal injury lawsuit on your hands. However, if your actions caused your own injuries, then you would be best advised to not pursue action in civil court. If you do feel like you have a personal injury case, then it is always a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney about your case and get a professional’s opinion before you file your lawsuit.