Personal injury law is the area of the law that holds people or organizations responsible for the harm they cause to others. Using New York and New Jersey's personal injury laws, victims of some type of injury -- physical, financial, emotional or cognitive -- may sue the people responsible for their injuries. These lawsuits generally seek to recover the costs victims had to pay because of the accident, which can include medical bills, missed work, funeral bills and more. They usually also seek to recover compensation for damages that are harder to put a dollar amount on, such as financial compensation for a lifelong disability created by an accident or the loss of a deceased family member's care and love. In extreme cases, victims may also be able to recover punitive damages, which seek to punish wrongdoers for deliberate or egregious violations of the law.
Personal injury lawsuits often, but not always, arise out of avoidable or foreseeable accidents. Some come from deliberate actions by another that violate the law. And a few come from "strict liability," a legal concept saying that a wrongdoer is legally responsible for harm regardless of the circumstances. Typical subjects for personal-injury lawsuits include: