When someone is physically or emotionally injured, or their private property is damaged, it is considered under the law to be a "personal injury". The laws covering personal injury allow the injured party to receive compensation for damages caused by someone else's carelessness, negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. Personal injury law is also called "tort" law. States and the federal government have enacted tort laws for the protection of your rights. Tort actions have three elements: there must be a legal duty between the defendant (the one doing the wrong) and the plaintiff (the person injured), there must be a breach of that duty, and damage must occur because of that breach. When all three elements take place, a personal injury, or tort, has occurred.