Most people only associate car accidents with personal injury; however, the scope of personal injury law encompasses many types of injury, including those resulting from medical malpractice, dog attacks, and slip-and-fall accidents. A personal injury lawsuit can get complex, especially if multiple parties are involved or there is uncertainty about liability. Continue reading this guide to help you understand the basics of a personal injury lawsuit.
What Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil action filed by the victim against the person whose recklessness, negligence, wrongdoing, or carelessness caused them to sustain injuries in an accident. The purpose of filing this lawsuit is for the victim to recover compensation for their financial, physical, and emotional suffering.
Personal injury cases are often resolved through an informal settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. However, if there is no agreement, the injured party can file a formal complaint with the court to obtain compensation.
Once a complaint is filed, the plaintiff has to submit sufficient evidence that proves the defendant’s fault in the case. If fault is successfully established in the personal injury lawsuit, the court evaluates the losses suffered by the plaintiff and awards them compensation.
Types Of Compensation Available In Personal Injury Lawsuits
The following are the types of damages available in a personal injury case:
General damages don’t have a clear dollar amount. These damages can be awarded to the plaintiff to compensate them for the emotional trauma and mental anguish they suffered as a result of the injuries. The damages include disfigurement or disability, loss of reputation, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Special or economic damages compensate the victim for their financial losses related to the accident. Examples of special damages include loss of income, loss of earning potential, medical bills, the costs of replacing or repairing the damaged property, such as their vehicle, and costs of household services or in-house care for the victim.
Punitive damages are meant to dissuade the defendant from committing similar acts in the future. These damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases; they are a court-ordered addition to the personal injury compensation in some cases where the defendant’s behavior is especially negligent or reckless.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations?
The statute of limitations in a personal injury case is the timeframe the plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against the party they believe is responsible for their damages. While these statutes of limitations typically start from the day the victim suffers an injury or loss in an accident, the deadline depends on state laws and the facts of the case. Most states give the victim a two-year deadline to file a lawsuit for personal injury.
How Fault Is Established In Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury cases arise from negligence which is, under the law, conduct that falls below a standard of care every reasonable person is expected to provide to others. The plaintiff can prove negligence by demonstrating that the defendant had a legal duty to provide them with reasonable care. They failed to provide that duty, resulting in the plaintiff sustaining harm and financial suffering. However, not all personal injury cases involve negligence. In some cases, such as strict liability or malicious intent personal injury cases, establishing liability is more straightforward for the plaintiff.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
You may require legal assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney for various aspects of your case. For example, your personal injury attorney could gather evidence for maximum compensation for your losses. Since every personal injury case is different, your lawyer will review the facts of your case to develop a solid legal strategy to win the lawsuit. They can also handle all the paperwork and negotiations on your behalf so that you can focus on your recovery.