If you plan to go to court to seek redress for a personal injury, you’ll have a lot of questions. Below are the answers to the four most common personal injury questions. Simply put, a personal injury is any injury sustained on the body or mind, usually through an accident. Personal injury falls under tort law and is, therefore, a civil suit. Personal injury law allows complainants, i.e., the injured, to seek redress or compensation for injuries they may have sustained through the deliberate or negligent act of the defendant.
Different Types of Personal Injury
The following are the most typical types of personal injuries:
This is when an individual sustains an injury through an accident at their workplace, from a car crash, or another person’s property. If there is proof that the accident was caused intentionally or through negligence, you can institute a lawsuit and get the victim compensated.
2. Medical Malpractice
This type of personal injury occurs when a patient suffers physical, psychological, or emotional injury during their diagnosis or treatment. Medical malpractices are common due to the thousands of hospital and healthcare visits that take place every day.
3. Animal injury
Dog bites are the most typical types of animal injuries in the US today. Apart from dogs, people also keep other dangerous animals as pets. Animals like alligators, snakes, cats, etc., can cause injuries to others due to their owners’ negligence or lack of control. When this happens, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
4. Defective/Damaged products
When you purchase a product such as food, cosmetics, machinery, pharmaceutical/medical products, and you get injured by the products, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer.
5. Character defamation
When one person’s words or declarations concerning another’s character lead to the latter’s injury, the injured can file a defamation lawsuit. Most defamation lawsuits are pursued to redress emotional or psychological injuries.
B. Does your case have merit?
The next question to answer is the merit of your case. This is going to determine the outcome of your case, whether you choose to have an out-of-court settlement or go to trial. The following factors will combine to determine how much merit your case has.
Who was careless?
This is the first step in deciding whether a personal injury case has merit. It is the first question necessary to determine whether there is a personal injury case at all. You, and your lawyer, must prove incontrovertibly that your injury is the defendant’s fault.
Severity of injury
Another factor that will increase your case’s merit is the severity of the injury sustained. The presence of a scar, long-term or life injury, high cost of treatment, temporary or permanent disability, etc., are factors that, when present, will increase the merit of your case.
C. How long does the process take?
Personal Injury cases are usually quickly resolved. Sometimes, however, they can get drawn and last for as long as 2-3 years. Different factors contribute to determining how long the process will take.
Settlement or Lawsuit?
In many cases, people choose to negotiate and have out-of-court settlements. When this is the case, personal injury cases get resolved quickly, lasting less than a month. However, if you decide to file a lawsuit, then the case may take a few months to as long as a few years.
States differ in the procedural requirements and, subsequently, their timeframes. Another factor that differentiates states is the statute of limitation. This is how long you have before you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Some states have two years while others have up to 4 years.
D. Compensation size
How much compensation do you need? This is dependent on several factors:
The severity of the Injury
Your compensation size depends mainly on the severity of your injury. Very severe injuries, especially lifetime injuries, often get large settlements. Other factors such as emotional distress and life disruptions can combine to increase the injury's severity and subsequently increase your compensation size.
Cost of treatment
The court can also award compensation based on the proven cost of treatment. Here, you and your lawyer need to prove to the court how much financial cost the injury has burdened you with.
Many factors contribute to the success, or failures, of personal injury cases. The above questions, however, will prepare you for what to expect when you are seeking redress. Now that you are ready to kick the ball rolling, the next step is to contact a personal injury attorney.