What Is A Personal Injury Action?

Personal injury actions require, by their very nature, that someone be injured. This injury is typically physical, but in some cases it can be emotional. The general goal of personal injury actions is to hold the party at fault accountable for their actions, and to compensate the injured party fairly, justly and reasonably for their injuries and losses.

Some personal injury actions accuse a defendant of intentionally engaging in conduct that has a substantial likelihood of causing harm. Other personal injury actions say the injuries were a result of negligence stemming from the actions or inactions of the defendant. Still other personal injury actions are based on strict liability, a system where a defendant may be held liable regardless of the fault of the various parties, including the plaintiff.

Not every injured plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for the injury he or she has sustained. The claim must establish, through evidence, that the defendant is legally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The facts and circumstances of each particular case will determine whether a defendant can be held legally liable as a result of the actions he or she took, or the actions he or she failed to take despite having a duty to do so.

In some situations, the defendant’s conduct—while questionable—does not rise to a level that entitles the plaintiff to damages. Plaintiffs may also be denied damages if it is determined that the defendant did not breach a duty owed to the plaintiff, or met the objective standard of acting as a “reasonable person would under the circumstances.”

Personal injury law can involve many different types of claims, theories, and principles. Some of the more common types of personal injury actions include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, which raise numerous questions as to the liability of one person to another as well as questions about who is responsible for covering the losses
  • Premises liability, which concerns the responsibilities of property owners to safeguard others from dangerous conditions or hazards on their property that could and do result in injury
  • Wrongful death actions, which may be brought by the dependents or beneficiaries of a deceased individual against the party whose action or inaction caused the death of their loved one
  • Dog bites, in which a person who is bitten or injured by a dog while not trespassing, tormenting or teasing the dog, can collect under the strict liability law of Connecticut’s Dog Bite Statute
  • Products liability, which concerns the responsibilities of companies to bring safe products to the market and minimize the risk of injuries or deaths due to dangerous or defective products
  • Property damage causes of action, which concern the rights of property owners to protect their property from damage, theft, or intrusion
  • Assault and battery, involving unwanted physical contact between two parties or the threat of such contact
  • Defamation and privacy, two separate areas that concern the rights of individuals to have their names and reputations protected, and also to have their privacy preserved