The last thing anyone wants is to find themselves injured as the result of someone else’s actions, but accidents can always occur in life. Whether you’re simply going to the grocery store for some food or doing something more adventurous, it’s possible you may be involved in an incident. Rather than settling for paying for the costs of your injuries out of pocket, it may be worth pursuing the matter in court via a personal injury lawsuit. Learn everything you need to know in order to win your next case.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
For those unfamiliar with this type of lawsuit, a personal injury case occurs when one person is injured during an accident or incident as a result of someone else’s actions. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party sues the other party involved and attempts to get compensation from them for the injuries that they suffered. That compensation could be used to cover medical bills related to the incident or other associated expenses.
The Basics of Negligence
One of the primary aspects of a personal injury lawsuit is negligence, specifically proving that negligence existed. The commonly accepted legal definition of negligence is when one person fails to act in a certain manner that provides such a level of care for another person that a reasonable person in the same situation would do.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are a wide variety of situations where personal injury law may apply, but there are a few specific situations that are commonly seen. The most prominent of these include:
- Slip and fall accidents in a public space
- Off-leash animal attacks or other incidents
- Vehicle-on-vehicle or vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product defectiveness
- Wrongful death situations
What Must Legal Counsel Prove in a Personal Injury Case?
As mentioned above with the definition of negligence, it must be shown that the non-injured party acted in an unreasonable manner which put the injured party in harm’s way, whether that be intentionally or unintentionally. The following four aspects must be proven in court to demonstrate the other party’s negligence:
1) Duty of Care
First, it must be shown that the defendant had an established duty of care to keep the plaintiff out of harm’s way through their actions. The most common way to picture a duty of care is to think about a driver on the roadway. All drivers have a duty of care to keep themselves and others safe each time they get behind the wheel.
2) Breach of Duty of Care
Second, it must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting in such a manner that a person could have been injured by their actions. For example, a driver chooses to reach under their seat while in motion to grab something and taking their eyes off of the road.
3) The Existence of Damages
Third, it must be proven that the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of the accident that occurred with the defendant. Going further, it must be shown that the plaintiff had damages that resulted from their injuries, such as medical bills, applicable therapy bills, or something similar.
Finally, the court must be shown that the injuries the plaintiff suffered, along with the damages, were the direct result of the defendant’s negligent actions. Sticking with the driver example, if a driver took their eyes off the road to reach under their seat and missed that light turned red, only to hit a pedestrian crossing with the right-of-way, causation could exist.
How Much Can You Win from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may seem like a large amount of effort for not a lot of reward in certain circumstances, but there are potential benefits. It’s possible for a plaintiff to walk away with tens of thousands of dollars, potentially more, dependent upon the details of the case. While this won’t be the same for every personal injury lawsuit, consult with your lawyer to get their opinion on how much they believe you could potentially win.
Build a legal argument with the help of a lawyer
Winning a personal injury lawsuit will not be easy by any means, but an accredited defense lawyer can assist you with the process. From explaining how the personal injury lawsuit process will occur to gathering adequate information to help you win your case, it’s important to consult legal professionals. Gather any and all information, documents, bills, or other items that may be helpful when meeting with your lawyer for the first time.