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Personal Injury Cases – The Basics

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If you have suffered a personal injury from an accident or incident you could be dealing with a personal injury case. Although each personal injury case is different, there are commonalities within every personal injury case. This article explains what a personal injury case is, the different types of personal injury claims, the law governing personal injuries, and the potential outcomes of these cases.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit allows an injured individual to file a civil lawsuit in court and receive damages, namely money, for the harm caused by the at-fault party in an accident or incident. The purpose of this process is to provide an avenue for harmed individuals to be fairly compensated after they have suffered due to someone else’s conduct. Every personal injury case is different and thus each case will proceed differently, however, there are standard steps most personal injury cases take. Typically, personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident that someone else might be legally responsible for. Personal injury cases can become formalized after the injury by the injured party hiring an attorney and filing a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the harm. However, it is common that disputes be resolved prior to filing a lawsuit or in the early stages of litigation through a settlement agreement between the parties. Both the formal lawsuit and an informal settlement will be discussed in greater detail below.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury claim can come from a wide variety of situations. Some of the most common personal injury claims include: accidents (car accidents, slip and fall incidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, etc.), intentional acts (assault and battery and other intentional torts), defective products/ product liability (a product that is defective or unreasonably dangerous that harmed a consumer), defamation (when one person’s statement causes harm to another), wrongful death, premises liability, and other types of personal injury claims (including nursing home abuse or neglect, animal bites, food poisoning, asbestos exposure, legal malpractice, etc.). Generally, a defendant has a duty (which the type of depends on the situation) to plaintiff and does something to breach that duty injuring plaintiff, resulting in plaintiff likely having a personal injury claim.

The Law Governing Personal Injuries

Generally, personal injury law comes from the “common law.” Unlike laws that are codified in statutes, the common law comes from court decisions that set legal precedent that subsequent cases must follow. Common law differs from state to state so applicable rules for personal injury cases will be dependent on the jurisdiction you are in. Although personal injury law mainly derives from the common law, legislatures have also passed some statutes that touch on and are applicable to personal injury issues. One of the most relevant statues for a personal injury plaintiff is the state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a limit on amount of time an injured party has to file a lawsuit. Generally speaking, the period of time mandated by the statute of limitations begins when the plaintiff is injured or discovers the injury. Once plaintiff has filed the lawsuit they are no longer within the limited timeframe to present and sustain a judgment for their case. Statute of limitations can vary based on the type of injury.

Potential Outcomes of Personal Injury Cases

As aforementioned, there are likely two main outcomes of a personal injury case. The first is a formal lawsuit in which a private individual files a civil complaint against either another individual, business, corporation, or government agency that allegedly caused harm against the individual filing the lawsuit. This lawsuit will attempt to find the alleged bad actor legally at fault and provide the plaintiff (individual filing the lawsuit) with a judgment and remedy for their injury. The second, and more likely outcome, is an informal settlement between the parties. Most disputes involving personal injury claims are resolved through settlement which commonly takes the form of negotiation followed by a written and signed agreement where both sides agree to forgo any further legal action and resolve the matter though payment of an agreeable amount of money as compensation for the injured party’s injury. Settlement negotiations can take place prior to filing a civil lawsuit or any time after a lawsuit has been filed but prior to a judgment administered by the court.

Call Grover Law Firm

If you are considering filing a personal injury case after an accident or incident, hiring an attorney helps you navigate this complex area and allows you to focus on your recovery. Your attorney will handle all contact with the at-fault party and their insurance company. Your attorney will work hard to get you a fair compensation. Call Mark Grover with the Grover Law Firm at 913-432-1000 to set up your free consultation today.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.