Personal Injury

Ask a Lawyer: What Is Legally Considered a Personal Injury?

You may be familiar with the fact that, according to Texas law, you are allowed to collect damages for certain types of injuries. Specifically, suffering a “personal injury” because another person or entity did not take reasonable measures to keep you safe can be grounds for a lawsuit. So, how can car accident attorney near me determine whether or not your condition qualifies as a personal injury?

Ask a Lawyer: What Is Legally Considered a Personal Injury?

The term “personal injury” refers to any form of physical, financial, or mental harm that one party inflicts on another. Personal injuries are usually the result of negligence, rather than malicious intent. While some personal injuries result in criminal charges, compensation for the injured party is always determined via a civil lawsuit or a settlement.

Physical Harm

If another person or entity caused you to experience a medical condition or a physical injury, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Medical conditions include cancer, chronic back pain, and various diseases. A physical injury could be anything from a broken foot to a concussion.

If the party that hurt you intended to cause harm, you may have an assault case. Victims of assault often have the option to file a police report in addition to a personal injury lawsuit. Reporting the incident initiates the process by which criminal charges can be pressed. A person who is convicted in a criminal court could face heavy fines and jail time, depending on the nature of the offense.

Financial Harm

Financial harm involves the loss of valuable resources, especially if the person who experienced the personal injury missed income while they were healing. For example, if you took four weeks of unpaid leave to recover from a car accident, your lost wages would factor into your personal injury claim.

Serious accidents often result in permanent disabilities. If you suffered a disability, your settlement should reflect your reduced or lost earning capacity. Permanent disability claims have the potential to yield high payouts when they list all of the income the injured party stands to lose over a lifetime.

Mental Harm

You don’t necessarily need to experience a physical injury to have grounds for a personal injury claim. Many types of injury take a psychological or emotional form. For example, harassment is a form of personal injury that can require therapy to treat.

Even if your injury has a physical component, you may have the right to claim compensation for emotional distress. The anxiety and hardship that accompany reorganizing your life and reallocating your responsibilities in the aftermath of an injury can factor into your claim. The mental aspects of an injury are often listed as “noneconomic losses.” Other kinds of noneconomic losses include disfigurement and loss of consortium.

How Do Personal Injuries Happen?

While a personal injury can occur in many ways, there are a few major categories of personal injury law. Houston personal injury attorneys tend to specialize in some or all of these areas:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Collisions between cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles make up a large percentage of personal injury claims. Since people very rarely want to cause a crash on the road, negligent driving is often at the heart of these cases. For more information, click here.

Product Liability

When manufacturers produce dangerous products, usually as the result of a design flaw or a factory error, consumer safety is at risk. If you were injured by a product such as a household item or an electronic device, you may be able to sue the manufacturer. Other types of products that have the potential to cause harm include:

  • Food
  • Motor vehicles
  • Medical devices
  • Toys and games


Work Accidents

Employers are responsible for their workers’ safety under Texas employment laws. If you were injured at work, you may have incurred a “personal injury.” However, your ability to file a claim against your employer depends on whether or not you are required to go through the workers’ compensation system. Speaking with a lawyer is the best way to learn how to move forward with your case.

How Do Houston Personal Injury Lawyers Gather Evidence of Negligence?

Your attorney’s ability to demonstrate that the party who harmed you acted negligently is likely to be a deciding factor in your case. Negligence is defined as the failure to uphold a duty of care, such as abstaining from large amounts of alcohol before driving or taking reasonable measures to keep a workplace safe for employees. Personal injury attorneys build their cases according to valid sources of evidence, such as surveillance footage, amateur footage, physical objects, and witness statements.

Knowing whether or not your condition meets the legal definition of a personal injury can help you decide whether or not to submit a claim. When in doubt, speaking with a personal injury attorney is the best way to get the information you need.



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