A common concern for those who have sustained injuries in an accident is whether or not they are eligible for financial compensation. So, how can you determine if your injury qualifies as a personal injury case or if you should file an insurance claim?
A personal injury claim is a civil action filed by an injured party against the person or entity they believe was negligent in causing their injuries. Typically, the plaintiff files a lawsuit, with the assistance of a lawyer such as Christy Thomasson Injury Attorney, to recoup damages for any injury done or losses sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligent acts. Consequently, it’s critical to understand when an incident constitutes grounds for a personal injury claim. That said, continue reading this article to know more.
Classifications Of Personal Injury
Plaintiffs in personal injury cases frequently allege negligence on the defendant’s part. The elements of negligence that a preponderance of the evidence must prove are:
- The defendant’s duty.
- The defendant’s violation of duty.
- Actual and proximate cause.
The criteria may shift slightly depending on the situation’s specifics that led to the negligence. The value of a personal injury case stemming from premises liability and defective products to medical malpractice and auto accidents is determined by the kind and extent of the injuries sustained.
A claim for personal injury could be based on any number of injuries, including:
- incidents involving motor vehicles caused by negligence
- medical malpractice
- wrongful death
- premises liability
- slip-and-fall cases
- product liability cases
- workers’ compensation claims
- assault and battery
Personal Injury: The Basis For A Lawsuit
There are five main reasons why people file claims for personal injury. This article will define the following reasons and illustrate each:
- Negligence. Injuries sustained in regular activities often result in legal action, and negligence is usually the underlying cause. Generally, when it’s stated that someone has been neglectful, it’s implied that they failed to use the standard of care that was appropriate under the circumstances. For example, a driver must obey all traffic regulations and pay close attention to the road and other vehicles. Traffic accidents can be caused by various factors, many of which can be traced back to drivers’ negligence, such as excessive speeding, driving under the influence, or a lack of focus on the road. In the event of injuries sustained in the vehicle crash, the victim may have a case for damages against the at-fault motorist.
- Liability Restriction. In ‘strict liability’ cases, a defendant can be held responsible for the damages of an injured person, even if they were not at fault. Manufacturers, for example, must ensure that their products are free of flaws and come with adequate instructions and warning labels. The family of a child injured by a faulty toy may be able to sue the maker for damages without demonstrating any wrongdoing on the company’s part.
- Intentional Injurious Action. When someone acts deliberately with the intent of hurting another is another basis for a personal injury claim. One such offense is assault. If someone intentionally and knowingly injures another person, that person may hold the assailant responsible for any resulting damages. Moreover, you may file a criminal case against the offender.
- Actual Harm Done. Notably, there must be actual harm done to file a personal injury claim. However, proof of injuries is required. One of the most challenging types of damage to prove is emotional distress. It’s important to remember that the stronger your evidence is, the more likely you’ll succeed in making your claim.
- A Clear Definable Duty. For a personal injury claim to be successful, the defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care. The duty or ‘due to you’ originated from their relationship with you. Unfortunately, this obligation isn’t mutually recognized. For instance, every driver has a duty to protect the safety of all road users, including pedestrians. To file a lawsuit, you’ll need to show that the defendant in your case breached a specific duty. However, if someone took all the necessary precautions behind the wheel but still had a car accident due to uncontrollable weather conditions, they are not often held accountable.
In A Nutshell
In popular culture, lawsuits are portrayed as simple events in which the defendant is given papers and then goes to court, where their lawyers make passionate arguments. If you know how the personal injury litigation process works, you might expect it to go more smoothly. Keep in mind that pursuing a legal action is a serious step that must be thoroughly deliberated in light of the client’s best interests.
However, lawsuits are extremely helpful in getting insurance companies to take claims seriously and pay fair compensation for injuries. This is typically a final resort when all other options for recouping damages have been exhausted. Remember that no matter the situation, it’s crucial to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to maximize a client’s recovery without going to court and who has extensive trial experience and can steer a case through the legal system to a successful outcome.