Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Role of Personal Injury Lawyers in Negligence Cases

A personal injury lawyer is a person who provides legal representation to those who claim to have been injured, physically or mentally, as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, government agency, or any other entity. ‘Personal injury’ is the term used to describe physical and mental injuries to a person that occur because of someone else's negligence, intentional actions, or strict liability. Personal injury law refers to the legal remedies and defenses involved in civil lawsuits brought as a result of wrongful conduct. So, the law defines personal injury as an injury to the body, mind, or emotions.

Negligence in Personal Injury cases

Negligence means the other party failed to act with reasonable care. Every person is required to act responsibly to the other members of the society and to avoid putting other persons to risk. Most of the personal injury cases are based on the doctrine of negligence. The type of cases in which personal injury occurs include car accidents, bike accidents, railroad accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice and negligence, slip and fall accidents, work related accidents, wrongful death, defamation, etc. In order to establish liability in a negligence case, the plaintiff must show that a reasonably prudent person in the defendant’s position would have acted differently under the same circumstances. Once negligence has been established by the plaintiff in a personal injury case, the defendant must pay to the plaintiff for all the injuries and loss caused by the defendant's action. However, there are defenses that are available to the defendant in personal injury cases. The defendant may argue that the plaintiff did not use due care, and is partially or wholly responsible for his or her own injury. The defendant may also claim that the plaintiff assumed the risk by voluntarily participating in a dangerous sport or activity.     

Role of Personal Injury Lawyers

From road accident cases to medical negligence cases, to a dog bite or intentional tort, every person has a legal right to recover compensation when they are injured as a result of someone else's careless action. The personal injury lawyers generally handle the cases that fall under the tort law. He has to prove that there was a duty to take care, breach of that duty and injury has been caused due to it. A personal injury lawyer files legal complaints, offers legal advice, prepares legal documents and represents his client in court. His primary purpose is to see that justice and compensation has been served to the injured party. Normally, a personal injury lawyer will settle out of court on behalf of his client. However, if no agreement is reached between the plaintiff and the defendant, then he must take the case to the court to be decided by it.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Law on Acid Attacks in India

Acid attack is a form of violence against women, where the perpetrator splashes a person or object with acid in order to deface or kill them. It is one of the gruesome forms of attack on the human body. Earlier there was no law which specifically deals with the cases of acid attacks. There was no special section in the Indian Penal Code dealing with acid attacks. Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with causing grievous hurt by throwing of a corrosive substance etc. is insufficient/ inadequate to deal with the issue. So, the section 326 of the Indian Penal Code was not so effective in dealing with this heinous form of crime.

The Law Commission of India in its 226th report submitted in 2008 recommended for the inclusion of acid attacks as specific offences in the Indian Penal Code and a law for compensation for victims of crime. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 made grievous hurt by throwing acid and its attempt punishable by inserting new sections 326 A and 326 B.

Section 326 A of Indian Penal Code reads, “Whoever causes permanent or partial damage or deformity to, or bums or maims or disfigures or disables, any part or parts of the body of a person or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid on or by administering acid to that person, or by using any other means with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and with fine; Provided that such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the treatment of the victim; Provided further that any fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the victim.”

The first explanation to section 326 B says that, “For the purposes of section 326A and section 326B, “acid” includes any substance which has acidic or corrosive character or burning nature, that is capable of causing bodily injury leading to scars or disfigurement or temporary or permanent disability.

So, the Section 326 A in the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for acid throwing. The minimum punishment is 10 years imprisonment. It can extend up to life imprisonment with fine. The Section 326 B in the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for attempted acid throwing. The minimum punishment is 5 years imprisonment. It can extend up to 7 years imprisonment with fine.

Compensation for the Victim

In Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum vs. Union of India (1995) I SCC 14, the Supreme Court had pronounced upon the need by the government to setup a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for rape victims within 6 months. The Supreme Court had suggested that this board should give compensation whether or not a conviction takes place. The Supreme Court explained the justification for this proposal as -

“It is necessary, having regard to the Directive Principles contained under Article 38(I) of the Constitution of India to setup Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Rape victims frequently incur substantial financial loss. Some, for example are too traumatized to continue in employment.


Compensation for victims should be awarded by the court on conviction of the offender and by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board whether or not a conviction takes place. The board will take into account pain, suffering and shocks as well as loss of earnings due to pregnancy and the expenses of the child but if this occurred as a result of the rape.”