Personal injury lawsuits are based on the negligence of the defendant. Wrongful death lawsuits can be negligence based also, but may arise from other types of unjust action on the part of the person or entity being sued. A personal injury suit is brought by the person injured for the resulting damages. Wrongful death suits are brought by the victim’s survivors, who claim entitlement to monetary damages as a result of the improper conduct of the defendant.

A wrongful death claim generally consists of four elements: (1) the death was caused, in whole or part, by the conduct of the defendant; (2) the defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death; (3) there is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents; and (4) monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.

Personal injury law imposes a variety of duties on all individuals to exercise a reasonable degree of care and caution so as not to cause harm to others. For instance, individuals owe one another the duty to avoid negligent or intentionally wrongful actions, such as reckless speeding when children are present in a school zone. When one of these duties is breached and leads to injury, personal injury law sets the rules by which the victim can recover damages. Personal injury law also establishes the types of damages that can be collected in particular cases, while imposing a specific burden of proof on the plaintiff. The personal injury body of law is remarkably vast, and includes common types of lawsuits such as car accident claims, medical malpractice, defective products, and even dog bite cases.

However, personal injuries don’t even necessarily have to be physical-they could be psychological. Psychological personal injuries are typically caused by psychological trauma associated with life-threatening and/or disfiguring physical injuries, or as a result of witnessing trauma in others, or following personal escape from serious injury following a traumatic event. Before you can collect an award, your personal injury lawyer will have to prove that the defendant is liable. To prove liability, the attorney must also establish negligence.

If there is any failure on your part to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury or damage then there may be comparative (or contributory) negligence, where you and the other party both are at some degree of fault. If you win, you may receive money (an award) to compensate for medical costs, lost wages and lost future earnings as well as possibly for pain and suffering and punitive damages.