Everything You Need to Know About Filing Personal Injury Claims
Finding yourself injured at the hands of another person through their actions is never an ideal situation and is one which should be resolved as quickly as possible. To that end, it’s important to learn everything there is to know about personal injury claims and why you should consider filing one to make yourself whole. The following guide will outline everything from what personal injury law is to how much you can actually win from filing a lawsuit.
What is Personal Injury Law?
For those unfamiliar with this subset of tort law, personal injury refers to a situation where one party is injured due to the negligent actions of another party. When this occurs, the injured party files a lawsuit against the party whose actions caused the injuries in an effort to sue for damages, which would result in compensation going to the injured party. These damages are meant to make the injured party whole, typically repaying them for medical expenses or other bills related to their injuries.
Common Examples of Personal Injury Situations
Understanding what personal injury might look like can still be difficult even with the above definition outlined. Therefore, it can be helpful to take a look at common situations in which a personal injury lawsuit may be justified. The most common of these situations include:
- Medical malpractice incidences where a doctor does not follow the procedure
- Off-leash animal attacks in which one person is injured and the other party allowed their animal to be off-leash
- Vehicle collisions with pedestrians or with other vehicles
- Slip-and-fall accidents where it was not obvious there was a risk of slipping
Proving Personal Injury in Court: 4 Factors to Establish
With the above common situations outlined, it’s time to look at how to develop your case in court. The only way to go about this is to prove the following four factors occurred when you were injured:
1. Duty of Care
First, it must be shown that the defendant had a duty of care to protect the plaintiff through reasonable action. A common example is that a driver behind the wheel has a duty of care to operate their vehicle in such a way so as to prevent injury to other people on the road. Not operating your vehicle with such care could result in the following point.
2. Breach of Duty
After establishing that the defendant had a duty of care, the plaintiff must also show that there was a breach of the duty of care. Using the above example, a driver choosing to text on their phone while driving and taking their eyes off the road would be an example of a breach of duty.
Third, following the establishment of the breach of duty a person must also demonstrate causation between the incident and that breach. Sticking to our example, if the driver texting on their phone ran a red light and hit a pedestrian who couldn’t see them coming around the corner, there would be a direct causation between the breach of duty and the accident.
Finally, it must also be shown that the amount the plaintiff is suing the defendant for is reasonable based on their injuries. This typically comes from medical bills or other similar official forms that show the true cost of the accident, but it may also include more speculative costs such as pain and suffering.
How Much Can a Person Win from a Personal Injury Case?
Taking all of the above into account, it’s only natural to wonder how much a person can win from a personal injury lawsuit. The average person walks away from their lawsuit with around $25,000, but it’s important to remember that there are expenses to be paid. Many personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency basis, which means your victory will require some [payment off the top. Therefore, for smaller personal injury cases, you may only take home an amount in the low tens of thousands.
Make yourself whole in a court of law
Using all of the above information, consider whether or not a personal injury lawsuit case is the right choice for you. While a lawyer can help walk you through the finer details of your specific case, take the time to walk yourself through the situation to determine whether or not your case may warranty a person injury lawsuit. Keep in mind that other alternatives, such as going through general insurance or worker’s compensation, may be more applicable depending on the details.