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Personal Injury Lawyers and Common Law Basics

Believe it or not, most personal injury laws are considered common law. What that means is that a judge hears a case, makes a decision, and all judges below him in the same state must follow it. These rulings become what is known as common law in that state. While there are a few laws created from bills passed through congress, such as workers compensation laws, the majority of them are produced by common law.

There are a few types of personal injury lawsuits that fall under common law.

• Accidents (not work related) – Car accidents, medical malpractice, and any other type of accident, where someone acts in a negligent or careless manner, that causes another to be harmed.

• Intentional acts – Assault and battery, robbery, or any other injury where one is harmed emotionally or physically by the intentional act of another. Some defamation cases fall under this category, if it can be proven it was meant to cause the harm.

• Defective products – All companies have a responsibility to prevent defective products from being distributed to the public. While intention neglect does not need to be proven, injury from the product being defective must be documented.

• Defamation – When one intentionally makes statements about another, that are false and cause harm to the other person. In most situations, public figures such as politicians, movie stars and other famous or extremely popular people, do not have a case for defamation. There are exceptions to this, however, so caution should be taken.

If you or someone you know has been injured and believe you have a personal injury claim, there are a few things you need to do.

It’s essential that you preserve the evidence of your injuries, by reporting them to your doctor to get the necessary medical records, or protect physical evidence that caused them.

You will also need to file a summons and complaint in the state that it occurred. Through this legal document, you will be able to notify the defendant, that he is being sued.

In most states, you will have to file the summons and complaint, at the local courthouse. In some cases though, you may be able to file the complaint with an officer, at the local police station, at the scene of the incident or hospital. Most of the time, your lawyer can do this for you.

What this means to the ordinary citizen, who is looking to file a personal injury claim, is that he should hire a lawyer to help sort out the details, and ensure that he gets the proper compensation for the injury.

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