Personal injury is a legal term that is used to describe circumstances that may have legal consequences. It includes a wide range of situations, but they each have a common set of factors that make them fit the legal definition. It is defined as a situation where a party’s negligent, careless or intentional actions cause another to get injured.
A personal injury case can be filed when a person is injured by another person or entity and the injured party believes that the party who caused the injury is legally liable. The injured party or plaintiff hires a personal injury lawyer to represent him or her in a legal case against the party who caused the injuries or defendant.
Personal Injury Cases are Civil
Personal injury is a civil not criminal cause which means that the burden of proof is lower and in the event the plaintiff wins the case, the defendant will be responsible for paying financial damages and not be subject to jail time.
Personal Injury Laws Vary from State to State
Personal injury laws vary from state to state and a case must be filed by the plaintiff in the state the injuries occurred. For this reason, a plaintiff must hire a law firm in that state. For instance, Oakland personal injury lawyers represent those plaintiffs who wish to file their case in the state of California. The attorneys a plaintiff chooses should also be familiar with the local courts and judges in the area. This means that a plaintiff should choose a reputable Oakland area personal injury law firm if the injuries happened in the Oakland area. This guarantees the plaintiff gets the best representation.
A personal injury case can cover nearly any situation where there is an injured party but some cases are less thought of as personal injury. One such case is hazardous materials exposure.
Hazardous Materials Exposure
Hazardous materials exposure can cause serious injuries to people and they can also create the foundation for a personal injury case. Hazardous materials are embedded in many of the most public and private buildings and businesses in the country. There are toxic substances like asbestos that were once heralded building materials and over time have been found to be extremely hazardous to humans. There have been laws established for the removal of asbestos from buildings and other structures, but in many cases it is simply too expense and inconvenient to remove. In these cases asbestos can become exposed at some point and cause serious health injuries.
There is also the chance of toxic gases and other substances escaping in the air from businesses that do not properly handle these materials during their use. In certain circumstances many every day chemicals from gasoline, to cleaning supplies, to alcohol can become hazardous if misused or mishandled. When companies do not handle these substances properly, or when someone is exposed to hazardous materials like asbestos that company leaves itself open to a personal injury lawsuit.
Exposure to toxic materials can result in neurological injuries, severe burns, lung damage and ultimately death. Those injured face a difficult legal challenge to gain compensation for their injuries. However, many of these litigations end in good settlements for the plaintiff and do not require court.
Hazardous materials exposure is only one area of personal injury, but it is often overlooked. If someone in your family has been exposed to hazardous materials you should find a reputable and skilled attorney that can help to secure financial damages.