The bodily and psychological damages that people undergo when involved in an accident or some other event that could have been prevented amounts to personal injury. It can make a case for filing personal injury compensation by the injured person who faces medical and psychological issues and emotions that occur after an accident or other traumatic events. Recovering from a personal injury is often challenging, and the victim might experience extensive damages and losses due to the event. In such situations, the victim has the right to claim compensation for damages by filing a claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Any individual who experiences pain and emotional trauma after a mishap caused due to the event resulting from the negligence of another party can take steps for protecting their legal rights and in the process obtain compensation for damages. A personal injury law case consists of filing a lawsuit in a civil court, and the proceedings lead to establishing the fault to obtain a binding judgment. However, all personal injury cases might not lead to a judgment by the court depending on whether the case goes for trial or the parties settle it informally out of court. For out of court settlement, the parties would negotiate the terms of the settlement followed by a written agreement to give up a lawsuit in exchange of the payment of the agreed sum of money towards compensation.
Failure to take reasonable care
To file a claim for personal injury, it is important to establish that the injury resulted from an event caused due to the failure of the other party to take reasonable care, in which case the accident might not have happened at all. This is typical in case of vehicular accidents if the driver of one vehicle breaches the duty of reasonable care that results in injuries to the other persons. That negligence was the cause of damages and injuries form the basis of filing a personal injury compensation claim, as seen in cases of medical malpractice that causes personal injury.
Negligence or failure to take reasonable manifest in many other forms like you might fall while walking on the sidewalk of someone else’s property and slip and fall on ice that was not cleared on time. In such a case, the owner of the property becomes liable for the injury because of negligence in not keeping the sidewalk clean and free from ice. Manufacturers and designers who release defective products in the market become liable for injuries caused to consumers who have used the products for the purpose it was meant for.
Applicability of personal injury rules
Personal injury rules are applicable in a wide variety of situations covering accidents as well as intentional acts, defamation, and defective products.
- Accidents – Personal injury rules come into play when someone acts in a negligent manner that causes harm to another person. From car accidents to medical malpractice and incidents of slip and fall are typical cases.
- Intentional acts – When a person’s intentional act causes harm to another person, it comes within the purview of personal injury laws.
- Defamation – If a person’s damages the reputation of another person by issuing a defamatory statement; the affected person has the right to file a case for personal injury.
- Defective products – Even if the defendant might not always be negligent or might not have any wrong intention; still, it could cause harm to others. Marketing defective products that lead to product liability claims come under this category.
Filing claim for damages
The injured person involved in an accident or any other event may decide to file a lawsuit for claiming compensation for the damages and injuries undergone because of the occurrence. The injured party who files the claim is the plaintiff, and the accused party is the defendant. Assuming that the parties involved have insurance policies that can cover damages, in that case, the insurance companies would also be involved in the lawsuit. Every party is entitled to legal representation, which is why personal injury attorneys are in demand to represent the plaintiffs and the defendants.
Stages of settlement
Attorneys for the plaintiffs follow the discovery process, which consists of gathering information and facts, questioning witnesses, also known as deposition by witnesses. During the deposition, attorneys ask formal questions to witnesses who must answer under oath. In many cases, crucial evidence is discovered during the discovery process that helps to settle the case without the need for progressing further. The defendant comes forward to negotiate the settlement that helps to avoid a formal trial.
If the plaintiff is not satisfied with the out of court settlement, then the case goes for trial in which a judge or jury can rule in favor of any of the parties. If the ruling is in favor of the plaintiff, it entitles him or her to collect compensation for damages comprising of medical bills, lost wages in the past and future as well as pain and suffering. Compensation is also available in case of permanent disability.
Leave it to a lawyer
You need a lawyer to represent your case regardless whether it follows the path of out of court settlement or goes for trial. Normally, out of court settlement involves negotiation with the insurance companies that engage lawyers, and it makes sense to leave it to the professionals to do justice to your case. To navigate through the legal process, you need an attorney who is well conversant with personal injury laws and experienced in filing claims and earning a favorable settlement for the clients.
Going through the legal process needs professional expertise and knowledge which only lawyers possess and can quickly set things in motion by filing papers and motions, gathering evidence and negotiating for a fair settlement. The attorney can even look for higher settlement than expected by the plaintiff. An attorney can also help plaintiffs to collect the money smoothly after the settlement because sometimes it might not be easy to get the money. It might even be necessary to appeal to get the money.