The term negligence equates to a careless act or conduct that causes damage to others. Personal injury is not to be described as an infliction of physical harm; it covers a wider scope of occurrences that results in physical, emotional, and mental harm to victims due to the act or negligence of another party.
When someone’s irresponsibility or breach of duty causes physical or mental injuries to you, you have all the rights to file compensation for the damages. With much laxity in the sense of responsibility, tolerance, and respect that dominates in our society, physical or mental injury are prone to befall anybody at any time. As a matter of fact, negligence is becoming quite more like a daily routine.
What Is Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury claims are lawsuits that deal with cases synonymous with wrongdoings inflicting harm to anybody, property, or damage to the reputation of the complainant. Such a law that deals with personal injury are known as Tort Law. The Tort laws are basically all laws related to addressing civil wrongdoings. This law act to safeguard the rights of civilians against any wrong-doer. It equally provides a basis for compensation. This law applies to all states in the US.
Although personal injury law may differ from state to state, they still retain some molecules of similarities. The core objective remains the same; to protect the citizens and help them get compensated when they experience any damage because of someone else’s fault and negligence.
Category Of Injury Law
Personal injury claims encompass two basic types, and they both come under the category of litigation and injury law, negligence tort, and intentional tort.
In negligence torts, the cases involve situations, whereby an individual becomes careless about others’ safety. A few common examples of injury cases involve workplace accidents, automobile accidents, medical malpractice, etc. To effectively address any of such case, the victim needs a professional injury lawyer who should effectively guide him through the legal proceedings of injury claims.
Also, the intentional tort cases are those that involve situations when any individual deliberately involves in a wrongful or an illegal act that becomes a cause of injury or harm to another person. Examples of related injury claims include slander, assault, child abuse, and sexual abuse.
Steps In Filing A Personal Injury Claim
- Seeking an Attorney’s assistance
If someone has suffered through injuries, then they are legally entitled to compensation. The initial thing that they must do to secure their rightful compensation is to hire the services of an experienced professional injury lawyer. These lawyers will guide their clients appropriately through related lawsuits. Working with the attorney, specific circumstances surrounding the case will be properly x-rayed. The injury attorney will surmise your legal options, determine the extent and severity of your injuries, get the accurate medical costs, and ascertain if the negligence of another party was involved.
- Case Investigation
Once you get an injury attorney, your attorney should be able to carry out a full and independent investigation of your claims. The lawyer should cover basics like police reports, witness testimony, medical records and bills, photographs, and the accident scenes. Also, a good injury lawyer should get more information based on the client’s employment history and earning power, and much more that will augur to the success of the claim. A good working relationship between your attorney and accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and other experts in a variety of fields relative to your case will make the whole process a lot easier for you.
Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may go all the way to obtain the vehicle data from the car’s black box (in automobile accidents). With this, the attorney will get a piece of more detailed information on the condition of the vehicle and the road (in some cases) prior to the accident. Your attorney should secure video surveillance if any is available, as it can play a huge role in hitting home your claims. Obtaining and documenting witness statements might also facilitate the speed of you getting your compensation.
- Demand for compensation
After your attorney must have assessed the futility of your claims and gathered necessary evidence, the next step will be to press for compensation from the defaulter. This is mostly achieved via a demand letter outlining the case, liabilities, and damages done including injuries, pains, illness, medical costs, lost wages, and potential continuous medical care. The defaulter of the duty of care (whether an individual, organization or insurance establishment), in his/their best interest, may decide to get an attorney, who will assist in reviewing the claim’s letter. The accused party, after reviewing the demand, may accept it, reject it, or make a counteroffer.
Your claims and compensation address spends tons of signals to the addressed party. As the cliché goes, “prima facie.” Your letter will give the defaulter’s party a nod on which angle to use in response to your address. Therefore, your attorney should be able to create a top-rated and mean address.
- File a Lawsuit
If your address is outrightly rejected, your next option should be to file a lawsuit seeking a redress.
- Discovery Phase
The discovery phase comes up before the actual trial. It’s all about evidence gathering and resource sharing between the two factions in the suit. The process of gathering information is much more important here.
Also, before proper trial, a mediator may come in, in an attempt to avoid trial. Mediation is truly all about the parties trying to come to an agreement. The mediation process never promises to be an easy one, but with a good mediator, the issue will be fully settled before any further court action.
Failure of the opposing parties to come to terms after bringing in a mediator will ultimately lead to a full-scale trial. If a court motion can’t determine the case, a jury will be called to evaluate facts, determine fault, and more likely award damages.
If the case doesn’t go to your favor and you still strongly believe in getting a more just judgment in the long run, appealing the case will be a likely option. The trial process and appellate process are quite distinct. You definitely will be hiring the services of experienced and reputable appellate practitioners here.
Possible Outcome Of An Injury Comp Claims
- Informal Settlement
In most cases, disputes over personal injury are resolved out of court- informal settlement. This is usually done between the involved parties, their attorneys, and insurers, if any. The counsels to both parties negotiate and reach an agreement, which will forestall any further action like a lawsuit.
- Formal Lawsuit
In the absence of informal settlement or even outright rejection of the claim may lead to one of the parties (the plaintiff) filing a lawsuit. In a personal injury suit, the individual files a civil complaint against any corporation, business, government agency, or another individual, alleging that the other party’s negligence is responsible for your injury.