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Is Personal Injury Civil Law?

Yes, personal injury is a form of civil law. Personal injuries involve another individual hurting you on purpose or by accident. These situations would be civil cases due to the nature of relations between the two parties. In personal injury cases, a specific person sues another, unlike criminal law cases where the government is responsible for prosecution.

What Are the Basics of Personal Injury?

The basic purpose of personal injury is to allow the injured party to pursue compensation after suffering injuries or harm due to another person’s negligent actions. There are various cases where personal injury law applies. These range from accidents, intentionally seeking to hurt someone, and discovering that you had purchased a defective item.


Accidents make up a significant amount of personal injury cases due to their frequency. The injured party can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation from the negligent party. Examples of accidents that fall under personal injury include car accidents, workplace incidents, slips and falls, animal bites, etc.

Intentional Harmful Acts

Personal injury law also applies to situations where one party intentionally harms the other. Under personal injury law, examples of intentional harm include assault and battery, false imprisonment, or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Sale of Defective or Harmful Products

People that discover they had purchased, consumed, or used a particular product have a right to sue the manufacturer under a product liability lawsuit covered by personal injury law. Product liability cases include medical prescriptions, children’s toy recalls, and tire blowout accidents caused by defective tires (among many other products).

What Are the Elements of Negligence a Personal Injury Claimant Must Prove?

Proving your injurer’s negligence is fundamental to winning any personal injury case. For this reason, it’s essential first to understand what creates negligence in personal injury cases. Typically this means that a person failed to take the necessary precautions to prevent an accident. For example, any driver who causes an accident after ignoring traffic rules or speeding will be held responsible for the accident. 

The elements of negligence in personal injury cases include:

Duty of Care

You must show that the other party was responsible for keeping others safe. For example, every driver has a responsibility to drive carefully to maintain the safety of other road users. This could involve following traffic laws and paying attention to the road.

Breach of Duty

You must prove that the negligent party failed to maintain their duty. If a driver speeds past a traffic light and hits you, a pedestrian, they have failed their duty and are responsible for your injuries.  

Proving Causation

You must also prove that an accident directly resulted from the other party’s negligence. Additionally, you should be able to prove that the other party’s negligent actions were foreseeable and avoidable.

Seeking Damages

You have solid proof of harm to warrant compensation. This would involve providing videos, photos, and eyewitness accounts of how the accident caused your injuries.

How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

Every accident, product liability lawsuit, or defamation case is different within civil lawsuits. However, the basic framework of almost all personal injury cases includes:

  • An accident or injury occurs
  • You or your lawyer determine if a breach of duty occurred
  • You or your lawyer begin compensation negotiations

An Accident or Injury Occurs

The first step of filing a personal injury case is to show harm or injury. Injuries can result from a variety of negligent actions except for contractual breaches. Those would fall under contract law and not personal injury law.

You or Your Lawyer Determine Breach of Duty

Determining a breach of duty depends on the legal responsibility of the at-fault party. For example, in a medical malpractice case, you have to show that the doctors failed in the legal duty to provide standard medical attention or care. You should prove that a manufacturer failed to provide safe or quality products for product liability cases.

Compensation Negotiations Begin

Once all involved parties agree that negligence and breach of duty resulted in your injury, negotiations begin to achieve a settlement. If you’re working with a personal injury lawyer, your representative will lead all negotiations with the defendant’s representative to discuss a settlement offer. Most personal injury cases settle at this point, but the case may be passed on to the judicial system if negotiations fail.

Why Work With Us?

If you’re a victim of personal injury and wish to file a civil law claim, contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins for a free consultation. At our law firm, we offer responsive legal care and are open to addressing all of your concerns on a contingency-fee basis. This means you will not pay us unless we win your case. Contact us to learn the next steps in your case.

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Ted Lyon

Born in Terrell, Texas, Attorney Ted Lyon, a partner of Loncar Lyon Jenkins, attended East texas State University, now Texas A&M at Commerce, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in political science. Working as a police officer, Attorney Lyon paid his way through undergraduate school, followed by attendance at the Southern Methodist University School of Law. Learn More


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