Accidents happen every day. Unfortunately, injuries caused by these accidents can cause painful conditions and financial losses. Many people ask: “What can I do to get help with my medical and financial difficulties?”
A personal injury claim can be the difference between securing your family’s future or falling into difficult times. Of course, not all accidents justify a personal injury claim. Before investing the time and effort in seeking compensation for your injury, you should know a few things.
First, how do you know if you have a solid case in your hands? What types of personal injuries are eligible for compensation? And, what are the statutes of limitations to file a lawsuit?
For many, browsing the legal aspects of a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. You must present all the documents correctly, contact the insurance company and present the facts convincingly. This becomes especially important if you spend time entering and leaving the doctor’s office or dealing with pain.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer may be the best way to understand if your accident qualifies you for reimbursement. Of course, if you have that DIY spirit and want more information before calling a lawyer, this guide can help you understand what qualifies as a personal injury claim.
What is a personal injury claim?
According to the American Bar Association, a personal injury claim involves two basic components. Before you even consider filing a claim, ask yourself these questions:
- Was the other party responsible for the damages I suffered?
- What is the nature and extent of my physical, mental and emotional injuries?
If the other party was responsible for your injuries, you can file a claim or a personal injury claim.
As a result, you become the plaintiff of the case. The person who caused your injuries is considered the defendant. In most cases, lawyers will collect the facts, interrogate key witnesses and review all necessary documentation, such as police reports or medical records. In addition, you may have to answer some basic questions under oath. This is known as a deposition.
Many cases are resolved long before going to trial. For example, if you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, the insurance company may offer you an agreement. Sometimes, however, the insurance company will offer you less than it really deserves. That is why it is important that a lawyer handle your claim.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Many personal injury claims involve car accidents. Given a large number of accidents that occur on the road every day, this is no surprise. Especially when a controller is typically guilty. However, other situations may arise that may present eligibility for a claim. These include:
- Slip and fall accidents: Owners or employees have a legal obligation to keep their facilities safe and risk-free. Not cleaning up spills, uneven floors or dangerous stairs can lead to serious accidents from slips and falls. Of course, not all slips and falls justify a case. The legal obligation of the owner of a property depends on the exact situation and the laws of responsibility of the premises of the state.
- Medical malpractice: When a doctor or other health care provider does not provide competent care, it can cause injury. This category may include birth injuries, errors with anesthesia, misdiagnosis or errors during surgery. These cases involve complex legal and medical problems and require the assistance of a lawyer with experience in medical malpractice.
- Slander and slander: Intentional defamation of character occurs when a person says or publishes false or negative statements. You should be able to prove that the false statement caused your injury (usually in the form of financial loss).
- Product liability: when a defective product causes injuries, for example. an electronic product causes a fire in your home; You may be able to get compensation. However, you must prove that you used the product according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and that you had an unexpected defect or danger. Like local liability legislation, product liability laws vary by state.
Common Types of Personal Injury
Once you demonstrate the negligence of the other party, you must establish the extent of your injuries. This may include physical, mental, emotional or financial losses. A personal injury claim can help you recover losses, including:
- Medical expenses: medical care is expensive. Especially when he suffers a major injury such as a slipped disc, a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury. The costs associated with a specific injury, such as hospital stays, medical appointments, surgeries and therapy, can be recovered if you meet the criteria.
- Pain and suffering: In addition to medical bills, the physical and mental anguish associated with your injury may result in a major agreement. Of course, trying pain and suffering can be difficult to do on your own. A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate how much compensation you deserve for physical discomfort and emotional distress.
- Loss of income or income capacity: if your injuries prevent you from doing your job, you can also sue to recover lost wages. In addition, if your injury disrupts your ability to win promotions or improve your income, you may receive additional compensation.
- Loss of consortium or enjoyment: when your personal injury directly affects your spouse, the spouse may be appointed as an additional claimant. They can earn compensation for the loss of marital benefits, child care and enjoyment of life due to their injuries.
- Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, not everyone survives a serious accident. When an accident victim dies, it can impose an undue hardship on surviving family members. This may include funeral expenses and loss of income for the family.
Proof of your case: what you should know
Unless you have attended law school, navigating the legal system can be very confusing. If you wish to successfully resolve a complaint, you must ensure that all your documents are in a row.
How do you successfully resolve a personal injury claim? For example, let’s take a car accident. If you were injured in a car accident, you must show that the other party was at fault. A police report, witness statements, and evidence found at the scene of the accident can be useful. If you can prove that your injuries are directly related to the car accident, you have an excellent opportunity to resolve your claim successfully.
But what if you had preexisting conditions? For example, maybe he was dealing with back pain before the accident. The accident may have worsened his condition, but it did not cause all his problems. Obviously, the insurance company will make a big point of this so that they can settle for less. However, a personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident to determine how much your injury affected.
Some states, such as the state of Florida, also have “no-fault” motor vehicle laws. This means that regardless of who is at fault, your insurance company will pay a portion of the medical bills, lost wages and replacement service costs. This information is described in your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If the costs of your injuries exceed PIP coverage, you can sue the other party for additional damages.
Some states also have comparative negligence laws, formerly known as contributory negligence. This means that, if it is determined that you were at fault, at least in part, you may not get the full amount of your settlement. The amount of failure is generally described as a percentage. For example, if you sue the party and it is determined that you had a 20% fault, a claim for $ 10,000 can only generate compensation of $ 8,000.
If it was considered that he was 50% or more at fault, he has little chance of resolving a successful claim. A personal injury lawyer can make sure that using all the information about your accident and injury, your percentage is fair and accurate.
Statute of Limitations
The law limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim. Each state has its own set of laws. Florida, for example, gives you four years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit. If you lose the submission during this period, you may still have the opportunity to start a lawsuit. Of course, it is quite rare to discover that an accident caused his injuries more than four years after the event occurred. This will not look good in court.
While a four-year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases, there may be exceptions. For example, in Florida, you must file a medical malpractice claim two years after discovering an injury or four years from the moment the negligence occurred. However, if the health care provider hid your negligence, you may have up to seven years to file it.
Be sure to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to know the statute of limitations for your case.