Our civil justice system requires that people and organizations pay money to compensate for harms and losses that they cause through their intentional or careless conduct. These include “financial” harm, such as wage loss and medical expenses, and “human” harm, such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Similarly, someone who causes death as a result of his or her negligent or intentional conduct, must compensate certain family members of the deceased for their losses.
In a perfect world, everyone would voluntarily pay for the harm they cause. The reality, however, is that sometimes we need to sue in order to force the person or entity to take responsibility for their actions. While a person is not legally required to hire a lawyer, having one can provide a number of benefits: a lawyer understands the legal rules and procedures, their handling of the case takes the stress off the client, and they are advocates who are trained to prepare the case and present it to the other side or a jury in order to obtain fair compensation. In many cases, insurance is available to pay for the damages that are recovered.
Examples of personal injury and wrongful death cases include:
- Collisions between motor vehicles or between vehicles and pedestrians
- Dangerous condition of premises
- Dangerous or defective products
- Professional negligence, including harm or damage caused by doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, insurance brokers, or other professionals
- Inadequate security at business establishments such as bars, nightclubs or restaurants, resulting in violence against patrons
- Attacks by dogs or other animals resulting from owner negligence
- Intentional torts, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, libel/slander/defamation, or invasion of privacy and fraud