Personal injury law (still referred to as tort law in some places) lets any injured person pursue a solution via civil court and obtain damages for any losses that result from an injury caused by an accident or some other act. Basically, the injured person is ‘made whole’ via financial compensation after being hurt by someone else’s intentional misconduct or carelessness.
When Does Personal Injury Law Apply?
There is a wide array of situations where personal injury law applies. Here are just a few of the most common:
- Accidents: Most people associate personal injury law with accidents such as those that involve autos, slip and fall, and medical malpractice.
- Defective Product: A product liability claim is a result of a defective product. The defendant is not negligent or guilty of intentional wrongdoing, but still liable for any injury caused by the defective product.
- Intentional Acts: If the defendant’s intentional actions cause harm to another person This one is common with assault and battery.
- Defamation: If a person makes a defamatory statement that causes harm to someone.
The Process of a Personal Injury Case
Injuries are always different. No two are alike. However, the process of a personal injury case is always the same.
Here are the steps of a personal injury case:
- Plaintiff sustains an injury
- The defendant is believed to have breached their legal duty to the plaintiff
- Settlement talks that involve monetary compensation for the plaintiff take place. The plaintiff might opt to accept the settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue a civil case.
Statute of Limitations to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A plaintiff only has a limited time to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations goes into effect as soon as the plaintiff is injured or becomes aware of an injury. During the allotted time frame (the statute of limitations varies by state) the injured person must contact a law firm to pursue punitive damages. Once the lawsuit starts, there is no set time frame.
What to Expect from a Personal Injury Attorney?
At the first consultation with a personal injury attorney, you will provide all information about your injury so the attorney can determine if they wish to handle the case. After accepting the case, the attorney starts the initial court papers, fact checks and discovers all information needed before going to trial. Interestingly, most lawsuits are settled before they ever go to trial. However, your attorney is prepared to go all the way to the jury trial to ensure that you obtain a judgment. If the process does not go the way that you have envisioned, then please remember that in most cases you can appeal a decision or judgment.
If you have been the victim of an accident or injury that has impacted your life and you are not at fault, then it is imperative that you seek the professional services of a skilled personal injury attorney. You might be entitled to compensation that can help you with your day-to-day life and pay outstanding medical bills. However, as mentioned, there is a statute of limitations so you must not delay in obtaining legal advice.