Nobody wants to find themselves injured in an accident that has been caused by another person, but a fact of life is that accidents happen. In some cases, there may not be fair compensation for the injuries you received if another party refuses to admit that they were at fault. This is where personal injury law can help, depending on the details of the specific case.
What is Personal Injury?
For those new to this type of law, personal injury refers to the event where one party suffers some type of injury, whether bodily or to their property, as a result of the actions of another party. In most cases, the foundation of personal injury law is that the other party acted with negligence, or in such a way that their behavior represented a disregard for consequences that would affect the safety of others.
Common Types of Personal Injury
There are a large number of cases where personal injury law may apply, but the most common of these include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: One person slips in a public area that was not properly cleaned and there was no indication that there was a possibility of slipping.
- Medical Malpractice: Finding yourself involved in an emergency room error is a frustrating experience, but some mistakes made by doctors justify a personal injury lawsuit.
- Car Accidents: Depending on the details of a car accident, compensation from insurance may not be enough to cover the entire sum of damages that were suffered.
- Off-leash Animal Attacks: An owner who allows their animal off-leash, only for that animal to attack a person, can be held liable for any injuries that may have been sustained.
The 4 Foundations of Personal Injury Claims
Making the decision to pursue a personal injury lawsuit is a major choice, which means it’s important to understand the foundation of this type of law. In particular, there are four aspects of a personal injury claim that must be proven to show negligent action occurred and the other party can be held responsible:
- Duty of Care
First and foremost, it must be shown that the party who is being sued had a duty of care to keep others around them from harm. As an example, a doctor has an obligation to keep their patients interests at top of mind or a driver has an obligation to keep other drivers and pedestrians safe.
- Breach of Duty of Care
Second, it must be shown that there was a breach of the aforementioned duty. Sticking with the examples outlined, a doctor choosing to do a procedure you did not agree to or a driver choosing to check their phone and running through a red light.
Third, it must be shown that the party who breached their duty of care directly impacted you as a result of their actions. A doctor messing up the procedure they were performing on you without approval which results in needing ongoing care or a driver slamming into a pedestrian when they ran the red light could serve as examples.
- Justifiable Damages
Finally, the plaintiff must show that the damages they sustained came from the actions of the defendant. Showing proof of medical malpractice via medical records and another medical opinion, as well as indicating medical records from a hospital visit after a car accident could serve as justifiable proof of damages.
How Much Can a Person Win from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
For some, the potential earnings from a personal injury lawsuit will determine whether they pursue the matter or not. The actual amount that can be earned from a case such as this can vary drastically depending on the specific details of the case, but the median award for personal injury cases is $31,000, although this can quickly skyrocket into the hundreds of thousands for more high profile cases such as medical malpractice.
Protect yourself legally and financially
Never settle for living with the aftermath of an injury that was caused by another person when there may be legal action you can take. Work with an accredited personal injury lawyer who can discuss the details of your case with you to see if there may be compensation still left on the table. The majority of personal injury lawsuits end in settlement, as opposed to trial, which means the headache of needing to go to court may not be necessary depending on your situation.