Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Basic Personal Injury Questions

Attorney Daniel VillalobosAuthor: Attorney Daniel Villalobos

Question: What is a Tort?
Answer: Personal Injury is typically covered under “Tort Law.” A Tort is a civil wrong for which the remedy is typically monetary reimbursement. Unlike in criminal law where the remedy is jail, or a fine paid to the government, or probation, under tort law if someone wrongs another, the victim is made whole by receiving money. The money is paid to restore the victim back to the situation he or she was in prior to the accident. For example, if A hits B and breaks B’s nose, B may have about $1,000 in medical bills that B has to pay. If B successfully sues A, B could recover the $1,000 he lost for the medical bills and perhaps an additional amount to redress the pain and suffering he sustained when he was punched in the nose. At the conclusion of the case, A would have been ordered to pay B enough money to make B whole again and back in the same situation B was in prior to A punching B.

Question: What is a personal injury?
Answer: A personal injury is any type of psychological or physical injury that is sustained by one and caused by another. The injury can be caused by a person or a company and it may be done negligently or intentionally. Lawsuits and all litigation filed for personal injury cases are handled in civil court where typically financial compensation is enforced.

Question: What is Negligence?
Answer: The definition of negligence varies by state but the general theme of most negligence definitions in each state is the failure of one person to act as a reasonable person would act in the same or similar situation that causes harm to another. The judge or jury must determine if the accused acted as a reasonably prudent person would have acted in the same manner. If the answer is “No,” then the accused could be found to have acted negligently and required to pay damages to the victim. For example let’s assume I drop water on the kitchen floor when I have guests over. Let’s also assume after I dropped the water on the floor I did not do anything about it and walked away. If someone falls on the water on the floor then a jury would be asked to decide if my actions were what a reasonably prudent person would have done in the same circumstance. Most likely a jury would conclude that the reasonable person would immediately warn everybody of the water on the floor and then clean it up. Since I did not do anything after the water fell, a jury would conclude that I did not act reasonably in the circumstance and hold me liable for any injuries and damages the victim experienced. Now let’s consider another example. Assume after the water fell that I immediately cleaned it up and put up a wet floor sign. Then assume a guest walked by, saw the wet floor sign, and walked in the area anyway and fell. Now a jury would most likely conclude that my actions were what a reasonable person would do and since I acted reasonably, I would not be liable for any injuries caused to the victim. The victim would essentially be responsible to pay for his or her own damages. So in both examples, we have water on the floor, a person falling, and a person getting injured. But in the first example I have to pay and in the second example I do not.

Whether or not someone acted negligently is fact specific and will vary from case to case. Never assume you have or don’t have a case. If you have been hurt in any type of accident, call us for a free consultation. We do not charge a cost or fee unless we recover money for you.

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