What is a Legal Injury?
When we hear the word “injury,” our first thought is of a physical wound such as a broken arm, a concussion, or another condition that may require a person to visit a medical professional. This kind of physical condition is included in the legal definition of injury; however, the definition also encompasses a great deal of other types of harm.
In fact, the term “injury” is an all-encompassing legal term that refers to any form of harm that is done to a person. This is because, according to the law, a person is more than just their physical form; rather, they are a human being who possesses rights and dignity. Any harm done to their personhood, in addition to any physical injuries, constitutes a significant loss.
A legal injury may be:
- Harm to Health or Body
- Damage to Reputation
- Destruction, Damage, or Devaluing Property
- Violations of Rights
- Wrongful Death
- Any Combination of These
In many instances, the person who is considered liable for the damage or loss that they caused is the same person who caused the injury. This is the case when:
- The person caused the injury through negligence.
- The person caused the injury intentionally.
- The person caused the injury by violating a contract or legal duty.
In situations like these, the person who was responsible for the injury, who is also referred to as the tortfeasor, will be required to make a monetary payment known as “damages” to the victim in order to help replace what was lost and pay for the total cost of the injury.
Is It Possible That the Person Who Causes an Injury Is Not Legally Liable?
Yes. For instance, if you fought off a mugger and hurt them while they were trying to rob you, you are not responsible for their injuries because you had the legal right to defend yourself. Even if they tried to sue you for their injuries, the lawsuit they brought against you would be unsuccessful. These are not the kinds of claims that are taken seriously by the courts.
However, what the courts see far more frequently is when people who are injured actually had their rights violated despite the fact that the other party refuses to admit it. This occurs quite frequently in the claims for medical devices.
Imagine that you gave permission for a medical device to be implanted in your body, but you weren’t informed of the potentially life-threatening risks involved. After some time has passed, when you begin to experience the unwanted effects of the device, the manufacturer may use a variety of defenses to get out of being held liable.
They might point out that you knew the device was “risky” or that the device cured another condition that you had, indicating that it did more good than harm. However, these arguments are nothing more than a distraction.
The truth is, you weren’t warned of that particular risk before you consented to the procedure, and you had a legal right to be informed of all of the risks before making your decision. Because the company failed to fulfill this obligation to you, it is responsible for the injury it caused.
How Can Monetary Compensation Ever Make Up for the Pain That an Injury Causes?
The unfortunate reality is that money cannot always bring back what was lost or heal an injury. This is especially important to keep in mind in cases involving personal injuries where the victim has suffered long-term health consequences as a direct result of the incident. In some instances, the victim may even lose their life, which is something that money cannot change.
The purpose of the law is to do what it can to restore “wholeness” to the victim or the victim’s family. This could mean actually fixing the injury, such as replacing stolen goods, or it could mean using money to offset the impact the injury has had on their life. Both of these options are viable solutions. This is the central idea behind making the party responsible for the tortfeasor pay the victim monetary damages for their losses.
The following are the types of damages that we see most frequently in cases involving personal injury:
- The expense of repairing a vehicle or purchasing new property
- All medical expenses and costs that are related to the injury
- The amount of money lost due to missed time at work
- Funds to help compensate for the negative effects of a disability or ongoing medical condition
- The use of financial resources to alleviate the effects of severe suffering or mental anguish
- Funds to compensate for the negative effects of a lifestyle that has been permanently altered
A person or their family may be able to maintain their financial stability with the assistance of this money while they are dealing with a serious injury. In certain circumstances, it can be a means of survival. Because of this, the law places a high level of importance on injuries and damages.
If you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll need the help of a personal injury attorney if you want to receive full compensation for your losses.
Contact The Brown Firm to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can best assist with your case.
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