Brief History of the Personal Injury Law

Personal injury cases happen more often than you might think. From accidents in the workplace to car wrecks and sidewalk slips, tragedies like these happen to thousands every day. Unfortunately, they could all be avoided if someone would have been less negligent. Right?

As it turns out, people have thought the same thing since ancient history. Here’s a brief history on how personal injury law came to be.

Ancient Roots

One of the first recorded lines pertaining to personal injury laws is “an eye for an eye,” which requires equal punishment for harm done to individuals in a society. Civilizations have, for the most part, decided on legal punishment when an accident is caused by someone’s negligence.

A Giant Leap Forward

While the concepts of personal injury law have existed since written record, the way we understand this legal procedure today began to better define itself in 1932. A British case known as Donoghue V. Stevenson found the manufacturer of a ginger beer liable for the victim’s illness. As it turns out, the bottle contained a snail that made the consumer sick.

After laying the groundwork for personal injury cases against manufacturers, personal injury law took off. The public began seeking compensation when someone’s actions, or lack of, caused injury. Lawyers began solely pursuing these cases as a career. Even then, it wasn’t until 1979 that the first personal injury attorney appeared on TV.

Throughout this time, law offices have held the same standards and practices to ensure justice for victims. Bay Area personal injury attorneys follow the same framework as those in New York, for example. While every lawyer is different, the basic blueprint for this style of law remains the same.

Fighting a Stereotype

With personal injury law entering mainstream media, the number of cases began to rise and garner national attention. It wasn’t long before media turned on these lawyers, however. Satire from late night talk shows to the morning news quickly created a stereotype, claiming that personal injury lawyers pursued frivolous lawsuits for a quick buck.

The infamous McDonald’s hot coffee claim, in which a woman suffered 3rd degree burns from the fast-food chain’s coffee, remains the most prevalent example. While plenty of ridiculous stories surround the case, the woman only received $200,000 when it was found that McDonald’s knew their coffee was served hot enough severely burn customers.

Injury lawyers at the Bowling law firm among others across the country, are actively working to change that stereotype. These attorneys fight for the rights of injured victims as they expose defective products, workplace hazards, and hold those liable accountable for their negligence.

The history of personal injury law is extensive, but it has helped countless individuals gain the compensation they deserve since ancient times. Todays’ law offices are far more modernized and equipped to help victims, though. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you are entitled to seek justice through a personal injury claim.