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The field of law is vast and complicated. Traversing it without the right assistance is close to impossible. This is why lawyers exist. They help those in need with legal assistance and their resources to get through difficult, stressful situations.

The law has multiple fields and different types of lawyers. In this article, we’ll discuss what personal injury is, what constitutes personal injury cases, what the role of a personal injury lawyer is, and what damages can be recovered in personal injury claims.

What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law, or tort law, is an area of law that promotes your rights when someone harms you. Personal injury cases can be filed in state or federal courts.

Who are the parties involved in a personal injury lawsuit?

Every personal injury case has two parties. They are

  •         Plaintiff: The person who files the case
  •         Defendant: The parties against whom you file the case

What Falls Under Personal Injury Cases?

A personal injury is an incident where an individual is hurt, either by accident or due to someone else’s negligence. The following fall under personal injury cases.

1.     Car Accidents: Car accident cases are those where an individual suffers injuries due to the negligence of another driver. In these types of cases, the victim approaches a lawyer to seek compensation from the responsible party (the negligent driver) for the damages they have suffered.

2.     Slip and Falls: These are the cases where individuals suffer injuries from falling. In slip and fall cases, the responsible party is usually the property owner, who owes a duty of care to everyone on their property. Slip and fall cases aren’t limited to houses; they can also take place at work sites, business establishments like hotels and grocery stores, and government property.

3.      Medical Malpractice: This type of personal injury occurs when a doctor or healthcare provider fails to do their job with the standard of professionalism and care the industry demands. An exception is that the victim cannot file a lawsuit if the treatment leads to a bad result.

4.      Defamation: A plaintiff can file a defamation lawsuit when the defendant’s untrue statements have damaged their reputation. A defamation lawsuit changes based on the parties involved. An average citizen just has to prove that the false statement made against them has caused financial loss. Celebrities, on the other hand, must provide evidence that the untrue statement was either unintentional or made with knowledge of the truth.

5.      Dog Bites: These are the cases where an untrained or poorly-trained dog bites you. In dog bite cases, the owner is usually the liable party, with the exception of the one-bite rule.

6.      Assault and Other Intentional Crimes: These are personal injuries where the victim’s injuries are the result of an individual’s intentional actions. On top of personal injury, the perpetrators also have the chance of a criminal case being filed against them.

7.      Defective Products: When a product or a component of a product malfunctions and causes injury to an individual, a personal injury case can be filed against the responsible parties. In these types of personal injury cases, the liable parties are the manufacturer of the product, the wholesaler, and the retailer.

Role of Personal Injury Lawyers

The role of a personal injury lawyer varies depending on the case they handle. The roles listed below are the most common.

·        Investigating for Fraud: Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, i.e., they only get paid if they win the case. Because of this, they take special care in analyzing the case to avoid potential fraudsters.

·        Evidence Gathering: A personal injury lawyer will help in collecting evidence that will strengthen their case. This includes recording witness statements, retaining documents like medical reports, employment documents, acquiring police reports, and so on.

·        Negotiations: A personal injury lawyer talks and negotiates with insurance companies on the plaintiff’s behalf and reviews policy details to help them get the maximum compensation possible.

·        Send Demand Letters: Sending demand letters is a lawyer’s area of expertise. In personal injury cases, a lawyer can send demand letters to insurance companies, mentioning the facts of the case and the expected compensation for the damage.

·        Preparing for Pleadings: When an insurance company rejects a settlement offer, the personal injury lawyer will help file a complaint, which has a 30-day deadline for answering.

·        Discovery: All personal injury lawyers will assist in the discovery process, which involves sending interrogatories to the defendant and recording depositions.

·        Representing Clients: In the event of a case proceeding to trial, a personal injury lawyer takes the plaintiff’s side in court and argues on their behalf, thanks to their knowledge of court customs and procedures.

Compensation Types

Each personal injury case is different. Hence, the damages suffered due to an incident can’t be brought under a single category. Here are a few types of damages a victim of a personal injury can seek compensation for:

1.      Economic Damages: The tangible losses a victim suffers as a result of an incident fall under this category. Common economic damages include

  •        Medical Expenses: Compensation of costs incurred due to hospital visits, medicines, therapy, and other related expenditures. The cost of follow-up treatment for injuries is also included.
  •      Lost Wages: Depending on the seriousness of a victim’s injuries, they may miss work for extended periods. Lack of work leads to a lack of income, which adds to the stress of an injured victim. Compensation for lost wages helps a victim get some control over their life.
  •      Property Damages: Compensation for damages to property falls under this category. Property damages are usually applicable in motor vehicle accidents but can be acquired in other cases as well.

2.      Non-Economic Damages: Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages compensate a victim’s psychological trauma and non-tangible losses. Common non-economic damages a victim can seek compensation for are:

  •      Pain and Suffering: From simple bruises and scratches to broken bones, burns, and amputations, one can experience several types of damage after a personal injury. Compensation for pain and suffering helps victims regain some relief after an incident.
  •      Emotional distress: Physical injuries aside, accidents can also cause psychological disturbances. Conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, phobias, depression, and impaired memory are a few conditions victims can seek compensation for.
  •      Loss of Consortium/Companionship: A loss of a partner/parent can be a distressing event. The family members can seek compensation for loss of intimacy and companionship if the victim loses their life or is paralyzed after an incident.
  •      Disabilities: A disability, impairment, or disfigurement will have a drastic effect on a victim’s life. On top of the physical harm, these injuries can also have serious psychological effects. Personal injury cases involving disabilities offer some of the highest compensation victims can claim.

Personal injury cases can sound complicated. But with the right personal injury lawyer, even the toughest cases can be overcome.

Knowing more about personal injury will come in handy when you or a loved one is involved in an accident that was caused by someone’s negligence. The combined strength of your knowledge about personal injury and an experienced lawyer will help you survive the legal battles.

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