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What is Considered a Personal Injury?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Personal Injury

When you or someone you love has suffered physical or psychological harm because of another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, you might be wondering if you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, does the specific type of harm that you or a loved one suffered count as a personal injury for legal purposes? There are various definitions of personal injuries that you may discover in conducting research on the internet or speaking with friends and family members. Our Tacoma personal injury attorneys want to discuss the term “personal injury” with you and to help clarify what is considered a personal injury for purposes of filing a civil lawsuit.

Defining a Personal Injury in Tacoma

There are dictionary definitions of the term “personal injury,” and there are definitions that are used to determine whether a person may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for damages they have suffered. According to Merriam Webster, a personal injury can be defined as “an injury to one’s body, mind, or emotions,” and “an injury that is not to one’s property.” Similarly, but alluding more clearly to the connection of the term to a legal claim, the Cambridge Dictionary defines a personal injury as “physical or mental harm that is caused to someone, especially when this is the fault of another person or an organization.”

How does the law define personal injury? The Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) explains that “personal injuries include every variety of injury to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation, as contradistinguished from injury to property rights.” The LII further clarifies that there are three different grounds for bringing a civil lawsuit after a personal injury, which include:

  • Negligence.
  • Strict liability.
  • Intentional tort.

The American Bar Association (ABA) definition of personal injury law provides further clarification: “Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is designed to protect you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else’s act or failure to act.” The ABA explains that “in a successful tort action, the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered the losses.”

Types of Personal Injury Claims

Many diverse types of personal injuries and personal injury lawsuits exist in Tacoma. Examples of common types of personal injury claims include but are not limited to the following:

Motor vehicle accident claims.
Slip and fall claims, and other premises liability lawsuits.
Defective product claims, also known as product liability lawsuits.
Medical malpractice lawsuits arising out of a health care provider’s negligence.
Dog bite claims; and
Workplace injuries.

It is also important to know that, when a person suffers a deadly personal injury, it may be possible for surviving family members to obtain compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Personal injury law and wrongful death law are closely related.

You should also know that personal injury, and whether you are eligible to file a claim, is not determined by severity. Whether an injury is minor or severe, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim.

Contact a Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have questions about whether your injury qualifies you to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should seek advice from one of our Tacoma personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. Contact Alliance Law Group today.