What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal Injury Law

What is Personal Injury Law?Personal injury law is the area of civil law that enables people to bring a legal claim when they are hurt due to the wrongful actions of someone else.  

Personal injury law requires individuals who are responsible for an accident to pay for the damages that they cause. This body of law aims to use money to compensate victims when they are hurt because of another individual’s negligent or intentional act. 

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations. 

Personal injury law is not criminal law 

While personal injury law and criminal law may have some commonalities, a personal injury case is not a criminal case.  

An individual who is the reason for an injury may face criminal charges as well as a civil personal injury suit. For instance, drunk driving is a personal injury case that may also be a crime.  

Negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct is the basis of personal injury law

Negligence, recklessness and intentional conduct can all grounds for personal injury liability.  


The failure to be careful is negligence. It is based on how an ordinary individual should behave in similar situations. It is not necessary that people have to behave perfectly or predict harm. Rather, the law evaluates what is reasonable in any given circumstance.  


Recklessness refers to engaging in behavior that a person knows or should know is likely to cause harm. It is distinct from negligence as an individual acting in a reckless manner should know that their conduct is harmful. For instance, a car crash may occur due to reckless or negligent conduct. 

Intentional conduct 

Intentional conduct refers to behavior that purposely causes harm to another. For example, an assault and battery is intentional conduct.  

What do I have to prove to win a personal injury case? 

The victim must prove four things to win a personal injury case based on negligence, namely, duty, breach, causation, and damages. This means that the victim must prove that someone else was not careful enough in a manner that caused their injuries.  

First, the victim must show that the individual responsible had a duty to act cautiously in the given circumstance. For instance, a driver is duty-bound to drive carefully as they are not the only one who can get hurt when on the roads. In addition, the victim must show how the other individual breached their duty of care. 

Examples of Personal Injury Cases 

  • Car accidents 
  • Assault and battery 
  • Dog bites 
  • Medical malpractice 
  • Failure to warn of dangers with a product 
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress 
  • Boat accidents 
  • Slip and fall accidents 
  • Defective product design 
  • Defective product manufacturing 
  • Defamation of character 
  • Other types of accidents 

Comparative negligence and contributory negligence in personal injury law 

In case an individual is partially responsible for an accident, they may be able to recover a reduced amount of their overall damages. Comparative negligence and contributory negligence laws differ significantly between states.  

If the defendant believes that a victim also contributed to the accident, they must voice the question in the court proceedings and present proof as a defense in the case.  

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas. 


For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

Posted in Law

Comments are closed.

Coachella Valley

Palm Springs
1800 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Indian Wells
74785 Hwy 111, Ste. 105
Indian Wells, CA 92210
Costa Mesa
650 Town Center Drive, Ste. 1400
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
SBEMP Attorneys LLP