What Exactly Is a Personal Injury?


Most of us have heard of personal injuries, and how we can start lawsuits to help us recover any financial losses that we have experienced. However, most of us only have limited understanding of what a West Covina personal injury lawyer actually does, and how they can help us. This must begin by understanding what personal injury is.

What Is Personal Injury?

Personal injury is broadly divided into two categories:

  1. A physical injury, including diseases and illnesses. These are generally caused by things such as trips, slips, and falls; fault services or goods; work related injuries; and traffic accidents.
  2. A psychological injury or illness. This is generally caused by discrimination at work, stress, and being a crime victim.

Both types of personal injury can also lead to people receiving the wrong medical treatment, which can result in further legal issues, including medical negligence.

As a result of a personal injury, someone can be permanently disabled, or they can even die. In the best case scenario, it “only” results in loss of earnings and medical bills, however. Regardless of the result of the personal injury, it is important that people are properly compensated. However, to combat the suing culture and ambulance chasers, statutes of limitations have been placed on personal injury cases. Usually, this is between one and two years for personal injury, and between two and five years for wrongful deaths. There are exceptions, such as in asbestos cases, where the injury only becomes apparent many years after the injury was sustained, in which case the clock tends to start ticking on the day of diagnosis.

The most common personal injury, however, is a traffic accident. It is vital that you contact the police after an accident, as they will record any sustained injuries. This is similar to the accident report book required in all offices. If you sustain a personal injury due to faulty goods or products, you must contact the company where you purchased it from. It all cases, you must speak to your insurance company and to your physician. This is not just to help you build a lawsuit, but also because you want to avoid your injuries getting any worse.

Types of Claims You Can Make

Besides the obvious personal injuries that result in a physical illness or injury, you can also make a claim for:

  1. Psychological injuries, particularly if you have been harassed, abused, ridiculed, or discriminated against.
  2. Home injuries, particularly if it was caused due to things like faulty appliances or poor workmanship.

It is important to remember that the victim’s family is also allowed to claim on behalf of the victim. However, this is generally only possible if the victim is unable to do so themselves. This can happen, for instance, if they are permanently disabled, in a coma, or enters a psychosis, for instance. If the victim dies, the personal injury case becomes a wrongful death case, which is treated differently, as the compensated party will have had very different financial losses.