If you have been following the personal injury case of Tori Spelling, then you may wonder what these types of cases involve, what your rights are, and what steps to follow if you believe you may be entitled to compensation. While the term “personal injury” covers a range of different cases, at the center of each is whether someone’s malice or negligence caused injury to another. Keep reading for an overview of this important legal topic and to learn more about your rights.
What is Personal Injury?
At the center of each personal injury case is the question of whether someone suffered because of the negligence or malice of another. Because of this broad definition, these cases can involve any of the following:
Notice that some of these cases can also involve criminal charges. The terms more commonly used when someone dies as a result of another person’s malice are murder or manslaughter, for instance. Personal injury suits are brought by plaintiffs as civil cases, meaning that criminal charges will not be a factor. The intention of these is to fight for damages for:
While this domain of the law is concerned exclusively with the recovery of damages, that does not mean that plaintiffs must choose to pursue a criminal case or a civil case. Doing both is certainly possible with the usual caveat that the proceedings of a criminal trial must conclude before those of a civil case can begin. Perhaps the most famous example of a plaintiff bringing both a criminal and a civil case was the O.J. Simpson trial. Remember, Simpson was found to be not guilty in the criminal case, but was found liable in the civil case, meaning the Goldman and Brown families received monetary damages for the loss of their loved ones.
How Damages are Determined
Juries take a number of things into consideration when determining the amount of damages. For instance, if the case involves wrongful death, then jurors might base their awards on whether the victim suffered physically or emotionally before perishing. They might also consider how central this person was to the lives of his or her family or community. Did the victim have young children who will suffer from the lack of a loving parent? Was he or she married? If so, then jurors are likely to award substantial damages to the victim’s family. Of course, no amount of monetary compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one. Still, this is one way for courts to attempt to right wrongs and hold those who acted in a negligent or malicious manner accountable.
What to do Next
If you have suffered an injury, or if a loved one has perished because of the negligence or malice of another individual, then you may be entitled to compensation. In order to secure what you are entitled to, you should seek the counsel of a determined, experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer today. Call the Delgado Law Firm today to learn more.