Personal injury law is a special area of civil law that sometimes overlaps with criminal law. When these cases go to court, they are settled under civil law, but often the defendant has violated criminal law statutes as well. Under civil law, people sue each other. Under criminal law, the violation is against the state and the victim cannot sue or settle out of court. The victim may receive some compensation from the court, but basically the issue is between the perpetrator and the government, not the perpetrator and another citizen.
This is important to understand if you want to sue someone. If you have a grievance and want to know whether you can sue a person or company, here are a few examples of personal injury cases that might help you decide.Automobile injuries are among the most common personal injury cases. You be the judge.
A young man rides his skateboard one evening down the middle of the road. People were driving with their headlights on and streetlights were lit. It is a in a residential district. The skateboarder gets hit from behind by a man driving a car. The defendant claims that he couldn’t see the skateboarder until too late and it was dark. He also has a witness who agreed that a driver could not see the victim until it was too late because of the dark. The lawyer for the skateboarder takes depositions to support the assertion that the driver was not paying attention. If you were the judge, who would you decide in favor of?
Injured motorcycle rider
A motorcycle rider was getting ready to turn into a strip mall. The driver of a car made a lane change, striking the rider, resulting in a broken leg that required surgery to repair. The driver claimed the motorcycle rider was trying to pass without signaling and in the driver’s blind spot. Is not seeing the motorcycle in this case an adequate defense?
A lady is walking out of a supermarket to her car in the parking lot. A driver, who doesn’t see her, hits her backing out. She is taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She claimed to have suffered serious injury to the head, but the medical record does not document head injury. The defense provides several depositions and medical exams to prove the injuries were not serious. Would you decide in favor of the defendant who hit the lady?
A man is stopped at a red light when he is rear-ended by the driver of another car. As a result, the man suffered whiplash and eventually needed surgery. He lost a lot of income due to the accident as well. The man who hit the other claims his vehicle was defective. It that a reasonable defense?
Injured bicycle rider
While riding a bicycle, an elderly man was struck by a car backing out of a driveway. The rider suffered traumatic brain injury, vision and hearing injuries, and a collapsed lung. Although the rider was an experienced bicyclist, the driver claimed it was the rider’s fault. A witness supported that claim. Would you rule in favor of the bicyclist or the driver?
In fact, in every one of these cases, the victim won and was awarded damages in six figures. Much of the reason for the outcome rests with the victim’s choice of personal injury lawyer. Most cases are settled out of court. Money is awarded by representatives of an insurance company whose job it is to keep the company’s losses to a minimum, not by a judge.