Accidents Law & Legal Definition


An accident is an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes. When an accident results in injury, the affected party may be entitled to relief under the law or to compensation under an insurance policy.

Injury generally refers to a harm suffered, which may be physical or emotional pain and suffering, damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right, breach of contract, or damage to real or personal property. The civil law seeks to compensate victims of wrongful acts, whether they are intentional or unintentional, for the injuries that could reasonably be expected from such acts. Injuries must be proven by the plaintiff and evidence may be introduced to support the amount, if any, of money damages sought. For example, in a personal injury lawsuit, among the types of damages the injured party may recover are: loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable medical expenses. They include both present and future expected losses. In some instances, the court will order a type of relief other than a monetary award, such as an injunction, to remedy an injury that money cannot correct.