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Personal injury law is governed by tort law. If ever you find yourself the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, you'll want to be familiar with the key points of tort law. If you are a manufacturer or business owner facing a product liability claim, you'll also want to know how to safeguard yourself against such claims in the future.

An Overview of Tort Law

Torts are civil actions resulting in injury or harm that are recognized by law as cause for a lawsuit. Specific types of torts include negligence, products liability, emotional distress, trespass, assault, and battery.

Torts fall into three general categories: intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts. In an intentional tort, the defendant knew what would happen as a result of his/her actions or inactions. In a negligent tort, the defendant did not know what would happen as a result of an action. And in a strict liability tort, a specific action on the part of the defendant, regardless of negligence or intent, was directly responsible for the damage. Product liability cases are prime examples of strict liability torts.

In cases regarding negligent torts, a defendant may be able to claim comparative negligence, which means that neither party was performing at a reasonable level when the damage was caused. In situations in which each party is determined to possess some degree of negligence, the blame is proportioned and the damages owed by the defendant are reduced accordingly.

As tort law was designed to provide relief for the damages incurred by injured parties, the plaintiff in a personal injury case may seek to recover the following: lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage, and punitive damages.

Safeguarding Yourself Against Future Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you have recently been the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering how to protect yourself – and your business – from legal complications in the future. Below are some helpful tips for business owners and manufacturers that just might keep you out of court.
  • Always be aware of legal requirements for post-sales warnings.

  • Keep track of all product complaints
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  • Continue to review product development and testing history as new information becomes current
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Tips for restaurant owners and food manufacturers:
  • Employ a member of your staff to stay in contact with food safety and regulatory agencies.

  • Be sure that every member of your team realizes just how critical food safety is to the continuation of the business.

  • Create and maintain a relationship with media professionals who have an established strategy for responding to food outbreak issues such as E. Coli.

  • When working in the food industry, adopt the “better safe than sorry” motto and have your own strategies in place for coping with potential personal injury litigation. Examples of such strategies might include internal written policies, information management systems, and media policies
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In addition to fighting for your best legal interests, a qualified personal injury defense attorney will also counsel you on how to avoid disputes that may threaten the stability of your business in the future.

By Lindsay Rech           

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