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How Have You Been Injured?

by Layla Bryant

When you get hurt because of another person's actions, you are entitled to be compensated. The type of compensation and the amount depends on the exact nature of the injury. The harm done to individuals tend to fall into several categories of damage, so read on for an overview of each and determine how you've been injured.

Personal Injury

This is somewhat of a catch-all term, but legally-speaking it only applies to injuries that injure your physical self or your mental self. This can be due to negligence, maliciousness or recklessness, and can be caused by anything from a car wreck to a slip and fall. Within this category falls:

1. Bodily harm: this the physical damage and the resulting medical expenses. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may also be covered for any future medical treatment needs. For example, if your back was injured in a car wreck, that is bodily harm.

2. Pain and suffering: you are entitled to compensation for the general misery that being involved in an accident causes. Keeping a pain journal can be a key form of proof for this type of damage, along with getting help from a mental health counselor. For example, if you have severe anxiety about getting behind the wheel again and need therapy to deal with it, that is pain and suffering.

3. Emotional distress: some people confuse this one with pain and suffering, but it is different and more difficult to prove than pain and suffering. The emotional distress referenced here is most often caused by intent; in other words, someone set out with the goal of causing someone emotional distress using threats or other means. For example, if a sexual partner recorded you and later threatened to post the images or did post the images, that would be covered under emotional distress.

Property Damage

The most common type of property damage connected to a personal injury case is a wrecked vehicle, but there can be others. Along with that car, for instance, you might also have lost or had damaged clothing, cell phones, child car seats and more. Whatever "hard goods" that you owned that were lost or damaged as a result of someone's negligence, you are entitled to be reimbursed for it.

Damage to Your Reputation

This is known as defamation, and the word is derived from the term "to defame." Whether it's through the written word, which is known as libel, or the spoken word, which is known as slander, if you were damaged you are entitled to sue. For example, if someone said on Facebook that you were stealing from your job, and you ended up losing your job as a result, that is libel. It must be untrue, and it must harm you for it to result in a lawsuit in the making.

No matter how you've been harmed, speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.