Personal Responsibility and the Role of Injury Law

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When we talk with our clients, sometimes they exhibit a misunderstanding of the role of injury law in Idaho.  And sometimes this misunderstanding is even more pronounced when discussing the law with state legislators who are not trained in law.  But the reality is that there are three basic roles that injury law plays in society:

  • Apportionment of Responsibility Among Wrongdoers
  • Provision of Fair and Just Compensation for Losses to Persons Injured Through Fault of Another;and
  • Encouragement of Safety and Responsible Risk Management.

It has been noted by scholars that the very essence of “tort” law is making sure that those that cause a problem are personally responsible for the injuries they impose

Tort law especially exemplifies the lodestar of personal responsibility.
The concepts of proximate cause, comparative negligence, contributory
negligence, and assumption of risk all were created and became the law to
assess responsibility; that is, to apportion fault.

Traditionally the civil law of the French, more clearly than the traditions of the common law, has stated this philosophy of a personal responsibility perspective for the body of injury law.  For example, that civil code expressly states “every act whatever … which causes damage to another obliges him by who’s fault the damaged occurred to repair it.”  It is this idea that drives the rules underlying Idaho injury law.

These ideas of personal responsibility, compensation and safety are the ideas that have led to the creation of many of the specifics in injury law.  This is the basic social role of personal injury law — to make sure that people are held personally responsible for their negligence or intentional misconduct.  We have discussed many of those specifics in our post on the basics of Idaho injury law.   And, we have discussed the specific things tor which a wrongdoer can be be held financially responsible in an earlier  post.

One of the things that so-called tort reformers lose sight of is the overall role of tort law in making a safer society.  Coffee-makers that don’t burn houses down, table saw safety shields, children’s pajama that don’t cause horrific injuries in a fire, seatbelts that save people instead of injure them the list is nigh on endless.

This system works because the Seventh Amendment to the US Constitution and Idaho’s Constitution protect your right to a jury trial.  And this is important when it is unclear who is the person responsible for causing an injury.  Call us to discuss the personal responsibility of a person who caused an injury to you, we help people all over Idaho including in Boise, Meridian, Kuna,  Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton,  Eagle, Payette, Weiser, Mountain Home,Twin Falls,Emmett, Bruneau, Star, Greenleaf, Wilder, Melba, McCall, Cascade, Idaho City, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Bonner’s Ferry and elsewhere

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  1. […] of a person who clearly had the right of way, we believe you will feel better just admitting it and taking personal responsibility.  We all know its the right thing to do. BUT, if you don’t know what happened or are unsure […]

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