What constitutes a personal injury claim for which you need to hire a personal injury attorney, personal injury lawyer, or personal injury law firm? In a nutshell, a personal injury claim arises when one person injures another by way of unreasonable or careless conduct. Personal injury law refers to unreasonable conduct that hurts another as “negligence.” The at-fault person must have had a duty to use care to not harm the injured party, such as we have when operating a car, running a business that is open to the public, or the like. Car accidents and injuries on a business’ property (“premises liability” cases) are what may be thought of as “garden variety” personal injury claims. Medical providers have a duty to not violate the standard of care and harm their patients, a specialized area of personal injury law referred to as “medical malpractice.” Product manufactures who design unreasonably dangerous and unsafe products that harm consumers may be subject to a unique type of personal injury law called “product liability.” The injuries in any of these types of cases may be physical, mental, or both. If negligent conduct results in the death of the victim, that type of injury claim is referred to as a “wrongful death” action. All of these types of personal injury cases have certain, very specific things that must be proven under the law, otherwise known as the “elements” of the claim. All require that the conduct at issue be shown to have been a cause of the injury, and all require proper, documented proof of injuries and resulting money damages. Damages may include medical bills, loss of income, as well as more intangible things such as pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Often, personal injury cases involve insurance issues as well if the at-fault party has liability insurance. Each type of case is unique given the circumstances of the victim and how the injuries occurred, and each has short time deadlines (“statutes of limitation”) that can bar a claim if legal action is not taken in a timely manner. If you think you or a loved one might have a personal injury claim, please call us here at Mahoney Law to discuss the facts of your situation.