Civil Causes of Action - Personal Injury Law and Legal Definition

Personal injury falls under the category of tort law.  Torts are civil wrongs recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit.  These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party.  While some torts are also crimes punishable with imprisonment, the primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harm. The types of damages the injured party may recover include: loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable medical expenses.  They include both present and future expected losses. 

Liability is based upon the defendant's failure to exercise reasonable care, which failure could foreseeably result in the harm which actually occurred to the plaintiff. Some of the common situations which give rise to personal injury claims involve motor vehicle accidents and slip and fall cases on icy sidewalks or spills in a place of business open to the public.